In the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and #MeToo movement, special attention is being paid to the way the entertainment world functions. The calls for proper diversity and onscreen representation has been at the forefront, with positive steps being made forward with blockbusters like Black Panther. Gary Ross' Oceans 8 has also been associated with this change, as it features a diverse cast of women as the starring cast. The casting is what has dominated much of the buzz around Ocean's 8, especially in the current political climate. I recently spoke to Gary Ross himself, and asked how he managed to balance the importance of an all-female Oceans' movie, while also making sure it felt true to the franchise. As he told me,
It looks like everyone involved in Ocean's 8 was aware of what a significant moment in film history this was. And while Gary Ross definitely tried to feature each character and what makes them unique, in the end it's still an Ocean's movie. Therefore, things had to be kept light and quick paced, despite the urge to pause the action and spotlight a cultural shift.
The conversation around having more complex female characters is about just that: wanting to be represented onscreen in a more honest way. Ocean's 8 features a motley crew of characters who each bring something unique to the table. While Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett's characters help plan the heist, they need Rihanna's tech, Sarah Paulson's organization, and Awkwafina's pick pocketing skills in order to make it all work. If Gary Ross manages to craft a true Ocean's movie that celebrates its cast of women, then he'll have done his job. Of course, we'll just have to wait and see what the public thinks about Ocean's 8.
While the all-female Ghostbusters received a ton of hate, Ocean's 8 hasn't been met with the same backlash. This may be because the franchise has already rebooted itself once before, or simply because the cast is so stacked. It'll ultimately be up to theatergoers to decide if the film makes money and has any hope of getting a sequel.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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