Warner Bros. says the female-led Ocean's 8 will start filming in October, and they've lined up an interesting cast. But could they not find three more actors?
Directed by Gary Ross (The Hunger Games), the film is being produced by Ocean”s Eleven director Steven Soderbergh with a script from Ross and Olivia Milch. We actually don't know much at this point how the film itself will play out but Deadline reports on the latest casting news:
Aside from the previously identified Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, deals are close with Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling and Awkwafina. The latter is the hip hop moniker of Asian American rapper and actress Nora Lum, who most recently had a role in Neighbors 2.
And yes, you didn't miscount, that's only seven actors. They'd still need one more to make their title true unless George Clooney is going to jump back in. Previous reports said he was involved, at least in a behind-the-scenes capacity, but the new report doesn't mention anything more on that. Another report also had Elizabeth Banks' name floated but no updates there either. Considering there have already been three films in the series, it's peculiar the main cast is being limited to eight actors.
Awkwafina and Rihanna are of course intriguing additions. Rihanna has a few roles under her belt now (Battleship, This Is the End, Annie) and will next be seen in Luc Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets but Awkwafina has done a few shorts, an episode of TV, and will next be seen in Dude. But between the two of them and Kaling, this is shaping up to be a refreshingly diverse cast for a Hollywood production.
The film is just one of the latest projects in Hollywood genderswapping originally male casts (of course the original Ocean's Eleven was from 1960), sometimes to the chagrin of fans, sometimes with really interesting results. Though we still don't know how they're approaching it, this film doesn't appear to be exactly that since the characters seem new and not copies of the Clooney cast. Though Ross has gone on record to say Ocean's 8 would be very similar in tone to the previous films and that it's “very much an extension and a continuation.”