Ocean’s 8 brought some fresh blood and plenty of feminine flair to the sausage fest franchise. And this crowd-pleasing clam bake has audiences clamoring for more. But more of what exactly? Below we share all our dreams for Ocean’s 9.
Make It Gay(er)
Ocean’s 8 was all about the queerbaiting. Debbie (Sandra Bullock) and Lou (Cate Blanchett) share a flirty vibe, cool clothes, bites of potato pancakes, and refer to each other as “partners.” When they discuss the plan over Ukranian food at Veselka, Lou teases, “Are you proposing?” And Debbie quips, “I don’t have a diamond yet, baby.” Later, Debbie will share a similarly electric vibe with “Tam-Tam” (Sarah Paulson), which some viewers have taken to suggest the pair are more than colleagues. And when Tammy asks Debbie why she fell for the traitorous Claude Becker (Richard Armitage), she chastises her for dating a man. All these hints could suggest that Debbie Ocean is bi or pansexual. Or these comments could be read as playful girl talk. Because gods forbid we make a mainstream movie hero canonically queer, right?
If Ocean’s 9 comes to be, make it gay. No more pussy-footing around, just pussy appreciation. Make it canon that Lou and Debbie were more than just business partners. Give us a flashback, not to a sketchy bingo club, but to a steamy bungalow. Hell, give Debbie a new girlfriend who’ll play a pivotal role in their next job. We know these gals love the game too much to just walk away.
A Big New Adventure, Obviously
Where was Lou going? We know she owns a chic NYC nightclub that waters down vodka and plays François Truffaut films as a backdrop to hipsters’ dancing and pseudo-intellectualism. But in the final “happy ending” montage, Lou is on a motorcycle and speeding up a highway along a coast. Maybe this is meant to just show she’s got the freedom to fly, take off wherever. But I’d like to imagine Lou’s chasing down a lead on her and Debbie’s next big job, perhaps one that takes them to the West Coast?
More, More, More Fashion
Ocean’s 8 gave us access to the jaw-dropping shoe closet of Vogue magazine, the glittery jewelry of Cartier, a runway fashion show, and the dizzying dazzle of the Met Gala. What could possibly top it? Maybe these con women’s next heist should be in the heat of Fashion Week? I don’t care much which. Just give us plenty of reason for Blanchett costume changes, and keep all those suits full of rocker allure.
No More Blandsome Men
Sorry, Richard Armitage. You’re handsome. But you brought nothing near the level of verve, humor, and sex appeal as the ladies of Ocean’s 8. If we must watch these wonder women interact with dudes, the casting needs to be on their level. I’m talking charm bombs only: Idris Elba, John Cho, Tom Hiddleston, Chrisses Best through Not Pratt. Bring your A-list game, or stay home.
No Matt Damon. No George Clooney.
Damon did shoot a cameo for Ocean’s 8 in which he’d pop in as Ocean’s Eleven’s Linus Caldwell. Thankfully, it was cut, and we were granted a reprieve from Damon sticking his nose in where it’s not welcomed. Besides, Elliot Gould and Shaobo Qin swung by as a none-too-subtle recognition of “Yes, this is the same shared universe as the George Clooney trilogy. Please also note the movie still of Danny Ocean conveniently placed in his sister’s hideout to make this connection.”
It felt mandated and graceless. I don’t believe for one second that Danny Ocean is really dead. (More like Clooney’s not currently interested in reviving the role.) But this spinoff series needs to make its own mark. So as charming as Clooney and his crew can be, I don’t want to see any of them in my Ocean’s 9. They’ve had three movies. Give it a break.
Make it 9
Bringing Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Helena Bonham Carter, and Rihanna back is a given. But fantasy casting Ocean’s 9 has become my new form of meditation. Mmmmmmmm…Helen Mirren as Debbie Ocean’s “homemaker” Aunt Ida. Mmmmmmm….Kathy Bates as a nefarious nemesis who wants the recently released Ocean to burn. Mmmmmmmmaybe she’s the Momma Bear of the framed Claude. Mmmmmm…Gina Rodriguez as the latest addition to the crew. Mmmmmmmmmaybe their fixer on a fashion-centric score? Mmmmmmmmmaybe just Janelle Monae bringing that pan-girl flavor and bisexual lighting to the screen along with plenty of pynk….Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…
A Female Director
For real. How did this movie go about touting some of the best female talent in front of the camera, but Warner Bros. chose Gary Ross to co-write and direct? He did a fine job. Like, fine. But his Ocean’s felt safe. Warner Bros, you got the audience on the hook. Now, take a big swing. Bring in a director who will not so much try to mimic Steven Soderbergh’s style, but will show off one of their own. And if you want to make a movie about women, for women, make it by women.
There is a whole world of talented female directors out there: Ava DuVernay, Patty Jenkins, Leslye Headland, Greta Gerwig, Sofia Coppola, Dee Rees, Mira Nair, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Heckerling, Hallie Meyers-Shyer, and Trish Sie. Consider giving them a call before inviting another bland dude into the director’s chair.