Five years, eight months and 12 days: that’s the amount of time Debbie Ocean has dedicated to hatching one of the most daring heists ever to be attempted. The number of days the world has waited for a Hollywood flick to accurately and justly represent women: uncountable. Enter Ocean’s 8, which aces the Bechdel test—an indicator for the active presence of women in films—no questions asked.
Ocean’s 8 has been confirmed for release this summer and diehard fans are going nuts. The movie seeks to disrupt the status quo and redefine Hollywood’s generic blockbuster formula—promising to do so in style. It’s not often that a film has eight leading ladies—in some cases you would be hard pushed to find a single one. This begs the question, is Ocean’s 8 laying the foundations for a new era of filmmaking?
With a cast of accomplished female actresses at the helm, we have no doubt that Ocean’s 8, the fourth installment in the renowned series, will be a smash hit at the box office. Director Gary Ross collaborated on writing the script for the film with Olivia Milch. The original trilogy’s director, Steven Soderbergh, is also on board as producer—much to the delight of Ocean’s enthusiasts. Ross had originally conceived the idea for an addition to the franchise five years ago and proceeded to bring his idea to Soderbergh. “If he [Soderbergh] hadn’t been involved, I don’t think I would have done it. It was great working together,” Ross recollects.
Oscar winner Sandra Bullock stars in the leading role as Debbie Ocean, the estranged sister to Danny Ocean (George Clooney), who was the lead character in the original Ocean’s 11 (2001). Playing Ocean’s specialist team are Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna and Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter, with Anne Hathaway as their target. Each female is known in her own right and brings a different dimension to the film.
The Ocean’s 8 story unfolds in New York—and was filmed entirely on location—which presents the perfect arena for the high-stakes; flashy and flamboyant plotline. The collective of skilled women plan to steal the Toussaint, Cartier’s one-of-a-kind diamond necklace, valued at $150 million at the illustrious Met Gala.
The crew and cast recall the instant chemistry of the key members and their pride in taking part in such a production. “You can’t underestimate the power of visual representation. To an eight-year-old, we’re not trying to say: ‘Go have a life of crime.’ But we’re saying: ‘Go do what you want. There’s space for you, and there’s space for you to do it with your friends, and there’s room for all of you.’ I think the films that have an ‘everybody in’ mentality and message for people who have historically been excluded, that’s a really good thing,” Hathaway commented.
On the topic of ethnic diversity and authentic female representation in the film, Awkwafina said: “When it comes to representation and diversity, there’s a difference between throwing in people of color and women, and then actually representing them accurately and authentically. The important thing about the characters in this movie—especially the people of color in this movie—is that’s not defining our characters. I am a New Yorker from Queens and Asian-ness has nothing to do with it. That’s representation. That’s where we’re going. I think this movie is going to be a step toward a right direction.”
Cartier was apparently an invaluable partner for the project, creating a specifically modified version of the stunning Toussaint necklace. “The Toussaint is one of the largest necklaces in their collection, sitting in their vault,” says executive producer Diana Alvarez. “The people at Cartier were incredible consultants and their expertise was a huge help to us. They allowed us to shoot at the Cartier Mansion.”
Ocean’s 8 is confirmed for release this summer on June 8, 2018—no doubt the masses will be waiting with baited breath until then.