WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Ocean’s 8, in theaters now.
Ocean’s 8 introduces audiences to another set of glamorous thieves that make us rethink the straight and narrow. Not only do they pull off the theft of a $150 million Cartier necklace from the Met Gala and frame someone else for the crime, they also manage to steal a boatload of other valuable pieces from the museum (with a little help from an old film). With the film on track for a $40 million-plus box office heist in its opening weekend, odds are Sandra Bullock's Debbie Ocean will be getting the gang back together for a sequel.
After all, the titles Ocean's 9 and Ocean's 10 are still up for grabs. But what might a sequel look like? Ocean's 8 lays the groundwork for a few potential follow-ups.
A Revenge Tale
Ocean's 12 was Terry Benedict's revenge tale, and Ocean's 8 opens itself up to using that premise as well, should it so choose. Debbie Ocean’s victory leaves a few downed targets in its wake, not the least of which is her ex-boyfriend, feckless art dealer Claude Becker (Richard Armitage). She frames him for the job and sends him to prison in return for his betrayal years earlier. He’s not the type to take personal responsibility, so he’s a prime candidate for an irrational revenge story.
Unfortunately for him, as villains go, Becker is pretty unexciting, and no one’s rooting for him to come back anytime soon. But there was one other victim of Ocean’s theft: the mysterious Russian who lent the Met all the other necklaces the team stole. The Ocean’s franchise loves a theatrical villain, and who better to fit that bill than a justifiably disgruntled Russian jewel collector?
A Weak Link
Ocean’s 8 pulled off two pretty capital twists: the extra loot, and Daphne Kluger’s (Anne Hathaway) surprise participation job. The self-centered starlet had been clocking the team's moves (and mistakes) since the beginning and forced them to let her join the action once she realized what they had done. It’s understandable – we’d totally blackmail Cate Blanchett if it meant we got to hang out with her on a semi-regular basis.
However, as team members go, an international movie star probably isn’t the safest bet. Kruger’s inexperience, combined with her ego, makes her a prime candidate to cause trouble in the future. We wouldn't put it past her to brag about her part in the scheme or try to organize another one out of sheer boredom. She's wealthy, demanding and has way too much time and money on her hands -- a bit like Terry Benedict in that respect, and just as entertaining.
While Ocean’s 8 did feature a few cameos from the original trilogy (the George Clooney original, that is), they didn’t tickle our nostalgia bones as much as, say, a certain brother would have. But the film makes it pretty clear from the jump that this is Debbie Ocean’s show now, because her brother died tragically young. After getting settled in New York, Debbie visits her brother’s grave and pays her respects, only to be met by Elliot Gould's Reuben Tishkoff, who assures her Danny wouldn’t have wanted her to go through with whatever it is she’s planning. At the end, she visits the grave once more and shares a martini with her departed sibling. It’s sweet and touching, and probably bullshit.
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While Clooney was wisely kept away from this project to avoid stealing focus from the newest team of elite thieves, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be fun to see him pair up with his sister. The writers wink at this possibility a few different times, when Debbie herself admits she’s not 100 percent convinced her brother’s actually dead. She whispers to his headstone, “You’d better be in there,” and when Constance (Awkwafina) asks if she’s sure he’s dead, Debbie coyly responds, “No.” We’re probably getting a little ahead of ourselves, but the continuous and pointed references to Ocean's death feel like more than a red herring -- at least we hope so.
Directed by Gary Ross, Ocean’s 8 stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Anne Hathaway, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter and James Corden.