Ocean’s 8 is a great example of a spinoff reboot done right. But will there be an Ocean’s 9? How does it fit in with Danny Ocean’s movies? Is there potential for a crossover?
Ocean’s 8 has actually done better than any other installment in the Ocean’s franchise, proving that a well-executed reboot can get the recognition it deserves; and that — despite what the trolls would have us believe — audiences are open to female-led reboots, and willing to enjoy a great movie with an excellent cast.
Minor Ocean’s 8 spoilers below.
All things considered, Ocean’s 8 seems to have a promising future, and is one of the few cases nowadays (in the era of never-ending franchises) when I walked away from a movie hoping that it would have sequels. There’s just so much to enjoy about this new movie!
Every single character in the film has a lot of potential, which could easily be made into a second film. Sandra Bullock’s Debbie Ocean is probably already dreaming up the next heist, and maybe this time James Corden’s character won’t be so willing to play along. Amita (Mindy Kaling) is enjoying a newfound lifestyle of glamour — where will it take her? Tammy’s (Sarah Paulson) new company is bound to affect her family life. We need to see more of Nine-ball’s (Rihanna) family, and get more details about Constance’s (Awkwafina) life. What will Rose (Helena Bonham Carter) do now that she’s at the heights of the fashion industry again? Are she and Daphne (Anne Hathaway) a team now? And why is Lou (Cate Blanchet) so damn cool?
Ocean’s 8 leaves us wanting more because it didn’t overuse its characters — it gave us just enough to make for an excellent, entertaining heist movie, and still left enough for a second round… or a third, or a fourth.
That’s exactly what the original Ocean’s films did, and it’s what cements Ocean’s 8 as a worthy sequel with its own place in the franchise. Danny Ocean himself is, from the very beginning, a rather ambiguous character — although relatable — and we discover things about him, his personality and his past, as the story continues. The characters that surround him also reveal their personality traits gradually, sometimes with roles that gain sudden importance in subsequent films, and so the mythology grows without ever sacrificing the integrity of the story.
Ocean’s 8 learned from the old movies, and improved upon them (it was something of a relief that this film had no real romantic subplot, and that the main eight were never reduced to caricature-like personalities: two irritating problems with the original movies), but also made sure to never alienate them and their original audience.
Danny Ocean is referenced throughout, with even a surprise appearance from Saul Bloom, and ambiguous hints at the fact that Danny might still be alive… a proper homage to a beloved character, and perhaps a foreshadowing of films to come. Ocean’s 8 doesn’t intend to really be a reboot (although it’s certainly rebooting the franchise): it’s a spinoff, and one that exists parallel to the universe we already know.
Does this indicate that we’ll be getting an Ocean’s film somewhere in the future where the female thieves will meet the male thieves? Possibly. After all, the Ocean’s franchise mastered the ensemble film long before Infinity War was anywhere on the horizon, and if anyone can succeed at cramming so many beloved actors in the same movie, it’s them.
But to build up to that point, we’ll probably get an Ocean’s 9 first. And for once, the prospect of a sequel is already incredibly exciting. Not only because it’s a fun, well-executed film, but also because it’s exactly the kind of feminist victory so many of us have been waiting for: it’s effortless, it’s natural, and it’s something that will be remembered by little boys and girls everywhere as just another cool movie… which is exactly the kind of status of normalcy we want female-led movies to achieve.
Whatever lies in the future for Debbie Ocean and her gang, it’s probably going to be epic and glamorous, and we’re already excited for it.