Today, Ocean’s 8 will sneak into theaters. The reboot/spin-off of the remade Ocean’s 11 brings on a whole new cast to add to the already stacked alumni of the Ocean’s series. This go-around features an all-female team of thieves, with award winners Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, and Sarah Paulson being supported by notable acting talents Rihanna and Awkwafina. Their eye is set for a blinged out necklace at the Met Gala, as opposed to the traditional casino fare in the previous Ocean’s.
Update 6/12: Check out our review of Oceans 8 on our Podcast!
The Ocean’s movies are the pinnacle of heist movies, featuring all-star casts and a blend of humor, action, and dare I say mystery (does anyone know what happened in Ocean’s 12?). They are among the most entertaining and rewatchable movies of all time. As our excitement for this new installment builds, we took it upon ourselves to imagine a world where we could assemble our dream team, centered around the archetypes put forth in the Ocean’s trilogy. In a way, it’s a recasting, but we like to think of it as more of our own reimagining. Filling the roles of the Danny Ocean style mastermind to the Matt Damon protege, Andy and Austin have built their own squads of actors and actresses to perform a heist. And, as with any heist, there must be a target. So who, or what, is it?
Want to head straight to the summary? Click here to go to the full team listing.
The Target: Meryl Streep and her Oscars
In this scenario, we are returning to the roots of the series. Meryl Streep, successful actress and noted Austin enemy, will own and run a casino in Las Vegas. At her casino, she holds her 3 Oscars and 18 other Oscar nominations in a secure vault. The goal is to steal all 21 of her Academy Award recognitions. For some (me), this may be personal (take away the honors of her overrated career); for others, we’ll add value and say they are all made of solid gold and the nominations in this scenario can be combined to create a map to find buried treasure (National Treasure 3, I will will you into existence). Meryl Streep’s demeanor and characteristics in this hypothetical scenario were not scrutinized so we both come at this from the angle of assuming what the Streep is like on our own.
The target has been set. It is time for GlitchUp’s Dream Ocean’s Teams.
Team 1: Kyle Chandler
The most important person to the crew is the mastermind. Danny Ocean was a leader and thinker, someone able to piece together a group of wild individuals and set up a plan for success. He was suave, charming, and cool. George Clooney’s portrayal is iconic, and is pretty often picked as one of the best leaders in fictional character drafts because of this, so to find a match is near impossible.
I started with another Silver Fox in Steve Carell. Have you seen pictures of him lately? Damn, son. Not a 40 year old virgin anymore. But he lacks that straight charm one desires for this role. Then I thought Jamie Foxx, Denzel, and Tom Cruise. They all lacked something. Too intense, not old enough, not enough of a leader quality. Then I thought, “where was Clooney at in his career when he took the role?” He had flaked out as Batman by then and was in a few notable movies, but was best known for a role on ER. Which brought me to Coach Taylor himself.
Kyle Chandler came to fame for his role as a very effective leader on Friday Night Lights, has charmed in various movie roles, and possesses that quality where you can easily see someone looking up to him and letting him command the room without that feeling of intimidation. He’s a leader that’s a friend, in a sense. When you’re trying to corral a bunch of criminals into successful team chemistry, it’s easy to see someone who has proven they can believably corral angsty teenagers in that position. Kyle Chandler can be my Danny Ocean, and no one is gonna top him.
Team 2: Jon Hamm
The mastermind is someone that everyone on the team can rally behind. They are someone that, even when the plan starts to fall apart, you just feel that things are going to work out. That’s because this is a scenario the mastermind already planned for. They can inspire a team of con men, lie and cheat their way out of anything, and in the end, will still get the girl (or guy)! I’m not the biggest fan of George Clooney, I find him almost too arrogant in most of his roles, and I cringe at the term “silverfox”*. I can, however, appreciate how much of an iconic performance his Danny Ocean is, and how impossible of a feat it is to replace him in the mastermind role. Sandra Bullock has one hell of a task in Oceans 8!
If any of you have ever watched Mad Men, you’ll know exactly why I picked Jon Hamm for the leader of the pack. Hamm’s Don Draper is portrayed as confident, cool, collected, and always comes off as someone who has a plan. Draper came from nothing, and masterminded his way to the top of a leading ad agency, eventually starting his own top agency, and one day literally reaches Arahant (he fully transcends – Mad Men spoilers!). This is a guy with a trustworthy face, an impeccable image, and can come up with classic one-liners on the spot. Tone down the grief-stricken past and infidelity of Don Draper, ramp up the charm a bit, and Hamm can give Clooney a run for his money.
I’ve often wondered why Hamm hasn’t had many blockbuster lead spots, and while his recent work in Baby Driver was a chance to show his range, this will be his first shot in a truly iconic role. He’s got the prowess to rival Clooney’s portrayal of one of the slickest men of all time, Danny goddamn Ocean. I leave you this image of Hamm in a suit, which I believe will convince you he is a perfect…nay…the ONLY option for this role.
*Editor’s Note: I cringe at you.
The Right Hand Man
Team 1: Ryan Gosling
Another key role, played by someone who is an equal (if not bigger) star than the mastermind. You have to have that coolness again here, but more of a hands-off style. I originally thought Will Smith would be great, as he is a phenomenal part of many one-two punches, but he feels too big and too starry, too much of a presence to be just the secondhand man. So I went with Ryan Gosling.
Originally, if Steve Carell won my mastermind role, this would have been a beautiful Crazy, Stupid, Love reunion, with a slight role reversal. While Michael Scott wasn’t meant to be, it just felt right with Baby Goose. He isn’t too overpowering to have to take a front seat, and can play that reserved (Drive), judgmental (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) vibe. Gosling is essentially the epitome of cool and can be a viable romantic interest if one is needed when a wily, difficult detective comes on the tails of the crew. As far as I know, he doesn’t eat in every scene he is in but I’m sure we can find some sort of tic/routine to really line up with Brad Pitt’s presence.
Team 2: John Krasinski
Whether he was playing second fiddle from a management standpoint to Michael Scott, or a handful of seasons to Pam Beesly’s testosterone-fueled Roy, John Krasinski got his breakthrough role playing a second-hand man. Jim Halpert was always the voice of reason, and one of the only logical strands holding together an entire office of bumbling idiots. When leadership was lacking, or something mission critical needed to get done, Halpert always stepped to the plate.
John Krasinksi went from ‘Jim from the office’ to ‘OMG is that Jim From the office?’ when we first saw ‘Jacked Jim’ in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. This is where Jim got ‘hot’, and I think he could stand up to Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Rusty Ryan. He’s shown more acting prowess with less dialogue than anyone in the last few years with his role in ‘A Quiet Place’, and this will be his first step into a franchise.
Team 1: Alicia Vikander
Wouldn’t it be perfect to see Jesse Plemons AKA Fat Damon AKA Meth Damon AKA Landry (Friday Night Lights REUNIOOOOOON!!!), hot off being the funniest part in the outstanding Game Night, play the young gun in this? Take full acceptance of the (mean) comparisons to the A-lister that had this role originally and just follow in his footsteps. It would, and he would be great, but I want a different vibe. I need that #COOL factor that has been present in picking the last two roles. I want Alicia Vikander.
Vikander is young enough, or at least can look young enough, to be reasonable as the small timer, but also has that leading star factor that means she would demand attention. She’s just off a turn as someone with huge potential developing their skills (Tomb Raider), and I like that she could easily banter with our two leaders. I think she’d bring more to the table than Damon did, or at least in my dream scenario she’d be given more to do. Let her be feisty. Let her be eager. But still make her retain those young, not-quite-sure-how-this-works aspects.
Team 2: Tom Holland
Know who’s a protege? Spiderman in the MCU. Holland can play a guy who’s eager to help, ready to learn, but also ready to bite off more than he can chew. I’d love to see him without the powers, leaning only on his wit, instinct, and dedication to the con man craft in an Ocean’s reboot. He’d look up to Jon Hamm the same way he looks up to RDJ as Tony Stark, and if we can have him dance his way out of some situation, we’d all be in for a treat. If we can have our previous protege, Matt Damon, schmooze his way out of a situation with a giant nose, a dance off is NOT out of the script as a dream scenario.
The Target’s Rival
Team 1: Helen Mirren
This was tough. There’s been so many actresses snubbed by Meryl Streep at this point that it’s tough to pick just one. I tried to think of other older actors that are notable and certainly stand in the presence of the public mind as greatest actors ever. Tom Hanks? Doesn’t feel right. Has he played anyone with a grudge or that gets angry in the past 20 years? What about Julianne Moore? Outstanding actress, and her cartoony villain role in the Kingsman sequel gives me something to work with here, but I just don’t feel the full hate. This is the one role where the person would be playing themselves, hammed up a bit.
That’s how I land on the Dame Helen Mirren. First off, she’s a goddamn Dame and has about 17 less Academy Award recognitions than Streep! Get the fuck outta here. Granted, she hasn’t exactly been in all that prestigious of stuff lately (Fast and the Furious and Red aren’t acting showcases), so it makes a bit more sense but come on. Mirren is a legend, capable of playing a cheesed up, kind-of-antagonistic role and I can see her bringing the comedy heat when delighting at getting back at Streep. As they say, the funniest moments are the ones that have a bit of truth to them.
Team 2: Charlize Theron
I know there’s a large age gap in Theron vs. Streep, but hear me out. Charlize has already played the ‘wronged person out for revenge’ almost to perfection in another reboot: The Italian Job. I can see Streep noticing the up and coming Theron at whatever fictional company we come up with for this reboot, and wronging her to remove the threat. Nobody wants to see two old bags duking it out with each other, let’s see a ‘young vs old’ instead.
I am now dreaming up an Ocean’s 11 fight scene between Meryl Streep and Charlize Theron. Brb.
The Con Artist
Team 1: Donald Glover
First off, RIP Bernie. While the Mac Attack was a legend, this role wasn’t anything spectacular. He did well in it, but there just wasn’t much going on. So let’s beef it up. Let’s make it more interesting. Let’s let them have more fun. Let’s cast Donald Glover.
Donald is one of the hottest commodities in Hollywood right now. Glover can play under-spoken and reserved (Atlanta), creepy and calculating (Atlanta: Teddy Perkins), cool and conniving (Solo), and much more. He is a jack of all trades: entertaining, effective, calm, charming, and creative. He would be great as someone that needs to fill multiple roles, becoming multiple people, flexing everything from comedy to drama to make us believe that if the movie were real people would actually believe his cons. And, best yet, while Donald could easily lead the squad, he isn’t one that while in a supporting role would feel like he’ll have to grow to be the leader.
Team 2: Julian Dennison
Surprise pick! While all of you are expecting more women in our lists, how about a CHILD? Julian Dennison is a trending child actor at the moment, with his role in Hunt for the Wilderpeople, similar role in Deadpool 2, and upcoming Godzilla vs. King Kong. Dennison is due for a breakout role in an ensemble cast, and seeing this plump little monster take on a con man persona in an Ocean’s reboot is the way to do it.
Dennison already is a bit of a con man in his first semi-breakout portrayal of a lost rebellious child in Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which is what brought him to mind for this spot. A child or early teen can also get into areas and pull on emotional strings that adults simply can’t. If this rotund little man was caught redhanded fondling one of Streep’s Oscars, he could EASILY con his way out of it. While nobody can replace Bernie Mac (RIP), Dennison could be a fun spin on the con man role.
The Two Dirty-Work Idiots
Team 1: Andy Samberg & Jake Gyllenhaal
These are the toughest roles to place. Not because it’s hard to replace Casey Affleck and Scott Caan (no offense) or because the roles are pivotal, but because there are so many routes to go. Could I interest you in Michael Cera and Jonah Hill? Of course. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum? They already argue their way successfully in another franchise. How about Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson for a New Girl reunion? Maybe Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson? So many possibilities.
I went a different route, trying to keep with the goofiness and slight stupidity of the original characters. Andy Samberg is exceptional at playing a man-child that is still good at his job. He brings that lightheartedness and ability for banter that this role needs. His partner in crime could have gone a million ways but I am biased and needed the actor I love the most to be in the movie. So Jake Gyllenhaal is cast as the other bumbling idiot.
Now, you might say Gyllenhaal is a bit too successful and too big of a star for such a small role. I disagree. He hasn’t done many silly roles, with his absurd and dark zoologist in Okja being the only one in the last 10 years to fit that designation. And even then, that role was much darker than just something he would get to play around and have fun with. This isn’t heavy lifting, this isn’t dramatic, it’s nowhere close to saying “Take me seriously as an actor”. But, every actor needs to flex those comedic muscles from time to time, and for someone who has consistently knocked it out of the park dramatically, it’s time for a break.
Team 2: James Franco & Danny McBride
Remember these two idiots in Pineapple Express? Tell me you wouldn’t want more of that, and I’ll eat my own shoe. McBride baking his cat a birthday cake even though it’s been dead for years, classic! “I thought hurricane season was over!” from Franco, I STILL use this quote. Franco & McBride seem to work VERY well as parts of pairs, if Pineapple Express, Vice Principals, The Interview, and The Disaster Artist are any indication. Granted this exact pair already happened in a pretty terrible movie, Your Highness, but I think in small doses these two would be a perfect replacement for Affleck and Caan.
Honestly, anyone from that rat pack might be a good fit as well. Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, or even Jay Baruchel could be subbed in here, but I really think these two are the play. You need two people that think they are smarter than they actually are. You need two people that play off each other’s insecurities and quirks. You need James Franco & Danny McBride.
Team 1: Jeff Goldblum
Here’s a fact: Goldblum is exactly a decade younger right now than Reiner was when Ocean’s 11 first came to theaters. How crazy is that? Wouldn’t you think Goldblum would be like thirty years younger? Nope, just ten. The man ages like the finest of wines.
Jeff Goldblum may lack that distinctive look of someone who has been doing heists for 50 years, but his personality and delivery can put that thought to rest. He can make you believe anything with the way he speaks, so I’m fully ready for him to convince audiences that he is looking for one last job. And more so, I think he can convincingly show that he’s actually game for a final job.
I want this role to show him as a successful thief, one that doesn’t need this last job but is just in it for the hell of it before he finally officially retires. Hell, let him interject into Kyle Chandler’s plans from time to time as an “ahhhh, you’re doing that? Interesting…I’d have done it this way but alright” to add an even funnier, intriguing dynamic. He won’t try to be the leader, he doesn’t have the interest in doing that, but he can push Chandler’s buttons just for fun.
Team 2: Clint Eastwood
I had the least amount of fun casting this one, as this character will come to a tragic end. Eastwood’s presence on screen will immediately command respect from both his fellow actors and his producers/directors. Hell, Eastwood might even step behind the camera to give this film a bit of direction himself. Similar to his ridiculously gripping performance in Gran Torino, this one last job will end poorly for Eastwood, and give the characters of the film one last bit of motivation to finish the job they started.
Team 1: Margot Robbie
I just want to watch Margot Robbie ham it up, flex that Australian accent constantly, and act like a lunatic when she’s required to blow something up. There’s really not action in Ocean’s, but explosives are sometimes needed. The Engineer handles that. Let Robbie run wild. Make my dreams come true.
Team 2: Jessica Chastain
Let me give you one line: “I’m the motherf*cker that caught Bin Laden”. If Ms. Chastain can catch BIN LADEN in Zero Dark Thirty, she can help engineer a heist without breaking a sweat. Did I mention she was nearly an Olympian-caliber skier and ran one of the highest stakes illegal poker rings of all time in Molly’s Game? What do you think is going to happen if we throw explosives in her arsenal similar to Don Cheadle’s Basher character? Sounds like this casting decision is about to blow up.
Team 1: Sterling K. Brown
Since a straight remake is no fun and I’ve been playing with the personalities of these characters quite a bit, let’s go further and make the weird, nerdy, timid tech guy a confident, serious, and at times intimidating man. Brown can play funny and charismatic, but he is amazing as a serious actor. Let him channel that same style he used for his guest spot on Brooklyn Nine-Nine as the smart and innovative techie of the crew. He can always be a step ahead of our mastermind in terms of expecting what will need to be created or done for the tech side of things. Seems like a certain gadget or cyber-infiltration will be needed? Sterling already has it done. Get on him for how long something takes? Sterling will stare into your soul with the fury of a thousand dying suns. But let him be cool and sarcastic at the same time. He can be serious, but people still know he’s playing with them.
Team 2: Jesse Plemons
Fresh off his MVP role in Game Night, Jesse Plemons lands the tech role with swag. Every heist film needs ‘the guy in the chair’, and Plemons already nailed that role (albeit slightly evil) in Black Mirror. Plemons can play the nice guy, the smart guy, and the evil guy all at once, and when he has to, he can even be charming! If he can mix together his last handful of performances into this techy spot in this reboot, we’re in for something special.
Team 1: John Cena
Imagine this scenario: Kyle Chandler is building his team. They are coming up with the plan and realize they need someone athletic, flexible, acrobatic. Someone that can sneak in anywhere. Andy Samberg’s hand pops up and says he knows a guy.
CUT TO: John Cena walks into the planning room. Everyone looks around like, “who the fuck is this?” while Samberg daps him up and introduces him. Cena is Claude Jacques St. Pierre, a former French-Canadian gymnast, the acrobat Samberg told them about. Chandler and Gosling look at each other, just pure annoyance and bewilderment across their faces. Cena says he’d love to join the team, while Samberg pumps up his resume. Chandler realizes it is too close to heist time to find someone else and they just accept Cena onto the team. Just a massive, muscular, baby-looking man meant to be able to fit in small places and slide past unnoticed. I need this. You need this. We all need this.
This started out as a goofy thought experiment article, and now I’m about to write this movie to see this perfect Cena role come to life.
Team 2: Steven Yeun
Alright, while I didn’t want Steven Yeun to be typecast in the role, I noticed my team was NOT very diverse, so I’m sticking with it. Yeun already played Glenn in The Walking Dead, and his intro scene in the series is all about his incredible zombie-dodging skills. He managed to stay alive through many, many seasons of the show, so getting in and out of bank vaults should not be an issue. I’ve heard he puts on a hell of a performance in Mayhem, and he’s already pulled off a bit of a heist in Okja.
There you have it. Two brand new squads to pull off the most delightful heists. If Ocean’s 8 doesn’t work out, just know we’ve got these ready for the backup revival. Be sure to let us know who you think has the better crew, and who you’d pick if you were in charge of casting these roles.
|Role||Original||Team 1||Team 2|
|Mastermind||George Clooney||Kyle Chandler||Jon Hamm|
|Right Hand Man||Brad Pitt||Ryan Gosling||John Krasinski|
|Con Man||Bernie Mac||Donald Glover||Julian Dennison|
|Rival of the Target||Elliot Gould||Helen Mirren||Charlize Theron|
|Grunt Worker 1||Casey Affleck||Andy Samberg||Danny McBride|
|Grunt Worker 2||Scott Caan||Jake Gyllenaal||James Franco|
|Tech Guy||Eddie Jemison||Sterling K Brown||Jesse Plemmons|
|Engineer||Don Cheadle||Margot Robbie||Jessica Chastain|
|The Veteran||Carl Reiner||Jeff Goldblum||Clint Eastewoode|
|The Protégé||Matt Damon||Alicia Vikander||Tom Holland|
|The Grease Man||Shaobo Qin||John Cena||Steven Yeun|