In perhaps a nod to growing criticism about the lack of gender diversity in blockbusters, or simply an acknowledgment of the earning power of female stars, the profitable “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise is getting a reboot with an-all women cast.
The popular caper films were themselves an update on the 1960 classic film starring “Rat Pack” icons Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. The Steven Soderbergh directed follow-ups (released between 2001-2007) provided George Clooney with his signature big screen role opposite Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle, and were enormous hits both domestically and internationally.
According to The Playlist, Clooney’s “Gravity” co-star Sandra Bullock will be taking over the lead role in this new iteration, with Gary Ross (“The Hunger Games”) reportedly attached to direct. The rest of the sure-to-be all-star cast has yet to be filled out, but some have speculated that Ross might recruit his former leading lady Jennifer Lawrence to play a supporting part. Lawrence earned headlines earlier this month by writing a personal essay for LennyLetter, a feminism-themed newsletter co-founded by actress Lena Dunham, criticizing the wage double standard in the film industry.
Meanwhile Clooney, who co-produced Bullock’s latest film “Our Brand In Crisis,” and recommended her for the lead after turning the role down himself, has made the case for casting more women in parts initially written for men. “There’s a lot more [roles] out there if people just started thinking,” he told Entertainment Weekly at the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of “Our Brand In Crisis” last month. Apparently the idea for a female-centric “Ocean’s” has been gestating for over a year, with Clooney and his fellow producers tapping writer Olivia Milch (“Queen & Country”) to tackle the screenplay. According to The Playlist, Clooney may even make a cameo appearance as the dapper Danny Ocean.
Of course, the new “Ocean’s” is not the only high-profile all-female reboot of a popular film title on its way. Next summer director Paul Feig will reveal his highly-awaited new “Ghostbusters” film which will star Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.