Since Ocean’s 8 follows a group of gals trying to pull a heist during the Met Gala, it’s no surprise the film is full of celebrity cameos from Anna Wintour to Serena Williams. But only two original members of the Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen films made it into the gender-flipped sequel.
*Warning: This post contains some spoilers.*
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon) and Saul Bloom (Carl Reiner) were both expected to have cameos in the new film. Reiner revealed last year that he had filmed a scene with Sandra Bullock, while Damon announced he would also be making a brief appearance. Both cameos were later pulled.
Damon received backlash in December for his really awful comments about the #MeToo movement, but that’s unfortunately not why his spot was pulled from the women-fronted flick. Instead director Gary Ross said he cut the two cameos for the sake of the storyline. "[Picking the cameos] is an eclectic process of: how does it fit in the story and how is the narrative unfolding?" Ross told THR. "This more than any movie I’ve done had a really copious editorial process where you play with stuff, you find stuff. I’ve never shot anything after I’ve wrapped on any other movie before, but in a heist movie and an ensemble movie, you’re still working on the play. And we did a bunch of that, and so that was satisfying as well."
Back in December, people made a petition calling for Matt Damon's cameo to be pulled from Ocean’s 8 because of his comments about sexual assault. “Damon's inclusion [in the film] would trivialize the serious nature of the charges against sexual abusers like Weinstein—[and] show massive disrespect for the brave women speaking out," the petition read in part. "I'm calling on Ocean's 8 producers George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh to toss Damon's Ocean's 8 cameo where it belongs: on the cutting room floor."
Though Ross stated the cut was not a result of the backlash, people who vehemently opposed Damon’s presence in the film won after all. "There were a lot of people who were gracious to us that just for editorial and storytelling reasons didn’t make it in and some who did. If you know, we ended up shooting probably another 10 days afterwards, so there’s a lot of material and a lot of shaping. But it really just comes to storytelling," he said.
Two OG members of the Ocean’s crew did make it into the new film. Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) arrives to warn Debbie Ocean not to pull the Met heist, and the acrobatic Yen (Shaobo Qin) comes through toward the end of the film to help get the job done.
The cast of Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, Awkwafina, and Rihanna has already made history by setting a record debut for the franchise, stealing a $41.5 million at the box office in its first weekend.