The burgeoning creative partnership between George Clooney and Sandra Bullock that yielded this weekend’s “Our Brand Is Crisis” (in which Bullock stars, Clooney produces, and David Gordon Green directs), is set to kick up a notch in the near future. A new “Ocean’s Eleven” film is in the works, only this time, in line with the recent Hollywood gender-swapping trend, it’s due to feature an all female line-up, with Bullock in the lead, and Gary Ross (“The Hunger Games,” “Seabiscuit,” “Pleasantville“) directing.
The project was initiated last year by the power trio of late producer Jerry Weintraub, ‘Ocean’s’ trilogy director Steven Soderbergh, and the franchise’s main star, Clooney. Olivia Milch (“Queen & Country,” “Little Women”), who has become a go-to screenwriter for female-centric projects, has been working on the screenplay for months.
A project we’ve been tracking for much of the year, the female ‘Ocean’s’ has actually been quietly gestating since at least fall 2014, but we worried that it hit a major snag recently when the legendary Weintraub passed away this past summer (his memorial was held last month in New York and the aforementioned key players were all there). But sources close to the project tell The Playlist that the movie is still definitely in the works, and Milch has handed in a draft of the screenplay. Ross is a longtime Soderbergh friend and ally, and as she mentions in this recent press conference, Bullock has been close with her “Gravity” co-star Clooney for a long time now.
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Weintraub, Clooney, and Soderbergh clearly became tight during the Section 8 and ‘Ocean’s’ trilogy years, and it seems like Bullock has joined that extended family. Her role in “Our Brand Is Crisis” was originally written for Clooney, so a Bullock-led ‘Ocean’s’ would not be the first time she’s stepped directly into Clooney’s shoes. It’s unclear how directly connected (or not) this remake/reboot/sequel/spinoff will be to the Soderbergh pictures, but everyone is keen on this new ‘Ocean’s’ project, and sources tell us Clooney may even cameo as Danny Ocean.
Somehow, this not-quite-so-tightly kept secret has not properly broken until now, but traces of it have been on the Internet for a few months — Amy Pascal alluded to the existence of this new ‘Ocean’s’ film in the notorious Sony leak from last year. The then Sony chief urgerd her team to move faster on her all-female “Ghostbusters” project when she got wind of the competing gender-swap ensemble film in the works (we referenced this a few months back).
The female ‘Ocean’s’ film is expected to be Ross’ next movie after he finishes up with “The Free State Of Jones” starring Matthew McConaughey, which was, in a show of confidence, recently bumped up to a prime May 13, 2016 release date. Plot details on the new ‘Ocean’s’ project are being held under wraps for now. — reporting by Rodrigo Perez