Whilst the movie is still casting — Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter and rapper Awkwafina are close to deals to join Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway and Cate Blanchett for the Warner Bros. heist film “Ocean’s Eight,” according to sources close to the production.
The film is set to be produced by Ocean’s Eleven director Steven Soderbergh, and Ross wrote the script with Olivia Milch. Ross and Soderbergh are longtime informal collaborators, serving as second unit director on each other’s films and as sounding board on scripts and projects.
They have been planning this film with Warner Bros President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production Greg Silverman long enough that the initial conversations included Jerry Weintraub, the venerable producer of the original Ocean’s Eleven trilogy whose star-studded cast included George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt. Weintraub died last summer. Susan Ekins is executive producer and production senior veep Jesse Ehrman is overseeing the film with Silverman for Warner Bros.
Rihanna made her acting debut in a cameo role in the straight-to-DVD film Bring It On: All or Nothing and now the singing star who most recently shot the summer 2017 Luc Besson-directed Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Silverman has been trying to find a vehicle for her since seeing Rihanna at a House of Blues appearance early in her career. The film first galvanized around Bullock, who starred in Gravity and has a long relationship with the studio, and then Blanchett.
Both of them have won Oscars and so has Hathaway, with Carter nominated twice. This is turning out to be quite the prestige ensemble as Warner Bros moves aggressively to continue the caper franchise hatched way back in 1960 with a film that starred Frank Sinatra in the title role of Danny Ocean.
He was surrounded by his Rat Pack pals Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, along with Angie Dickinson. Clooney, who inherited that title role and helped architect the remake with his then-partner Soderbergh, and Weintraub, always said that when he watched the original with his buddies, it didn’t hold up as well as he remembered the film. But he and Soderbergh loved the ensemble caper concept, and who could have imagined the staying power this franchise would have?
“Ocean’s Eight” is a spinoff of 2001’s “Ocean’s Eleven,” which is itself a reboot/remake of the 1960 film of the same name that starred Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
The film is set to begin production in October in New York. No release date has been announced.
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