The runaway success of the Barbie movie has made Aussie actress Margot Robbie just about the hottest property in Hollywood. It’s fair to assume she will be in demand for a variety of roles, but her next project could be even bigger than Barbie – and what’s more it will see her reunited with Barbie co-star Ryan Gosling.
Ocean’s 11 was one of the most successful movies of the new millennium. It spawned two sequels and an all-female reboot, but fans have always been left craving more. It’s been five years since the last installment, but at last we have the news we have longed to hear.
Ocean’s 11 – a complex legacy
It’s easy to forget that Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 blockbuster was, itself, a remake. The original Ocean’s 11 was released in 1960 and starred the original Rat Pack. Frank Sinatra played Danny Ocean, and the ensemble cast included Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. Angie Dickinson played Bea Ocean.
Soderbergh’s remake packed just as heavy a punch with the all-star cast list, which included George Clooney and Julia Roberts and the Oceans, accompanied by Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Al Pacino and Elliot Gould.
Both movies have their merits, and the sheer star power of having all the Rat Pack on screen together in the original is enough for us to forgive any shortcomings in the script or production. Having said that, the general consensus is that Ocean’s 11 is one of the minority of movie titles for which the remake is superior to the original.
That leads to the complex question of where to take it in 2023.
Margot Robbie, the Aussie casino queen
Early indications are that the new Oceans movie is intended to be a prequel to the 2001 movie and closer to a remake of the 1960 version, and that it will be set in one of the world’s top casino destinations in the swinging sixties.
The first question you might ask is whether the duo of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling have the gravitas to pull off the roles of two casino con artists. After all, they are not exactly Paul Newman and Robert Redford.
The short answer is yes. All the Barbie hype makes it easy to forget that both have some meaty roles behind them. Margot Robbie’s breakthrough role in The Wolf of Wall Street showed her acting ability, and roles don’t come much meatier than her portrayal of Sharon Tate in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
She also has plenty of casino experience, both on and off screen. In 2015, she co-starred with Will Smith in Focus, a caper movie with more than a little in common with Ocean’s 11 that went strangely under the radar. But even more important, she can draw on her experience as a native Australian.
The old cliché about Aussies betting on two flies climbing a wall is not far from the truth, and Australians spend more on gambling than any other nation. This list of Aussie casinos reviewed and rated shows that casino games are as popular as ever among Australians in the digital age. However, according to the popular celebrity press, Margot prefers to do her gambling in Las Vegas and has been spotted from time to time at the Venetian on The Strip.
A departure from what has come before
The new Ocean’s 11 movie has officially entered pre-production. As well as Robbie and Gosling heading the cast list, we know that Jay Roach of Austin Powers fame will be in the director’s chair. He has teased a few details, including that this movie will be set in Monte Carlo, with the Monaco Grand Prix taking place as a backdrop. He has confirmed that it will still be a heist story, but there will also be a love story central to the plot.
That will be quite a departure from both the 1960 and 2001 versions. Sure, Bea and Tess Ocean had critical roles in each, but limited screen time. When it came down to it, both were male-dominated with little room for romance. The same can be said for the female-dominated Ocean’s 8.
The idea of a Hitchcock-style blend of crime and romance is a tantalizing one, and it will take a pair of leads with genuine chemistry to pull it off successfully. All we can say is so far, so good!