WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Ocean's 8, in theaters now.
The female-led heist comedy Ocean's 8 connects to Steven Sodderbergh's hit trilogy, not only through the familial relationship between Sandra Bullock's Debbie Ocean and George Clooney's Danny, but also through a sprinkling of cameos by members of the original cast, establishing the films as inhabiting the same world of big cons. There's an appearance by Elliot Gould as Reuben Tishkoff, and another that's too integral to the twists and turns of the plot to mention. However, one announced cameo is notably missing.
Matt Damon was set to reprise his role as pickpocket Linus Caldwell, the son of a legendary con artist. The appearance ended up drawing online backlash following a series of controversial interviews in which he addressed sexual harassment in Hollywood, and essentially fell back on the widely mocked "not all men" argument. (He finally concluded, "I should get in the back seat and close my mouth for a while.") Those comments, and allegations that Damon ignored or enabled abused by disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, spurred a petition for the actor to be removed from Ocean's 8. Nearly 29,000 people supported the call.
Nevertheless, Damon confirmed in February that he'd filmed a brief cameo for the Ocean's spinoff. “I only worked for a day,” he told the Toronto Sun. “They asked me to do it and I really wanted to support the project and support these awesome actresses. This is a movie about the women.”
However, Damon didn't make the final cut; Linus Caldwell is nowhere to be found in Ocean's 8.
There's been no word yet from Warner Bros., director Gary Ross or Damon himself about why his cameo isn't in the theatrical release. Of course, the actor admitted it was "a very small cameo," so it's entirely possible his minor role was simply a casualty of the editing process as the story was streamlined, and has nothing to do with outside pressures. If that's the case, it could very well crop up as a bonus feature on the film's eventual home release.
But Gould's Reuben Tishkoff is definitely in the theatrical cut, alongside familiar faces from outside the Ocean's franchise, including Anna Wintour, Maria Sharapova, Zayn Malik, Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Olivia Munn, Zac Posen and Alexander Wang.
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.