In an age where old-fashioned movie stars are harder and harder to come by, Jennifer Lawrence is about as close to the tippy-top of the A-list as you can get right now. Which is why it makes total sense that The Hunger Games director Gary Ross would turn to her to lead his upcoming reboot of the Ocean’s Eleven franchise. After all, both the 1960 and the 2001 incarnations of the elaborate heist tale boasted casts of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, from the Rat Pack crew at the heart of the Lewis Milestone’s original to the George Clooney/Matt Damon/Brad Pitt/Julia Roberts superstar powerhouse that fronted Steven Soderbergh‘s remake.
We first heard about the revival back in October, with the news that Sandra Bullock was being eyed to head up a new spin on the franchise featuring a predominantly female cast. The project was reportedly initiated by Clooney, Soderbergh and late producer Jerry Weintraub with Olivia Milch (Litte Women) set to pen the screenplay.
Now, The Tracking Board reports that Ross is eyeing a Hunger Games reunion with Lawrence, and that the project won’t be a hard reboot, but a spin-off of the Clooney-led trilogy with Bullock in the role of Danny Ocean’s sister and Lawrence playing her right-hand woman as they set out with a team of thieves to “steal a necklace from the Met Ball and frame a crooked gallery owner.”
While I’m not sure Ocean’s Eleven needs a reboot of any kind, heist stories are an enduring classic of cinema, and hitching an A-list cast to that cart is always going to be appealing. Plus, they’re just damn fun movies so it’s hard to get too bent out of shape. And if they’re aiming for a female-led cast of big guns, you can’t really do better than Bullock and Lawrence, who have both proven their ability to carry a film with panache and deliver comedic dialogue to a tee.
What’s most interesting about the report though, is the fact that this won’t be a remake but a spinoff – a set up that leaves the door wide open for Clooney, Pitt or any of the other big league talents from Soderbergh’s trilogy to appear. It’s a natural move, given the widespread desire for interconnected franchises at the moment, but in this particular case it seems a very smart way to go. Plus, if it means we get to see Scott Caan and Casey Affleck bickering at eachother again, I’m all about it.