We Cracked The Code: Here Are The Things You Didn’t Know About The Ocean’s Series

With Ocean’s 8 coming out June 8, 2018, it’s time to take a look back at the series that started it all. Although based on the movie of the same name in the 1960s, in 2001, the Ocean’s Eleven remake brought heist genre back to life in style. It became one of the highest-grossing films of the year and to this day is director Steven Soderbergh’s most successful film. Ocean’s Eleven was so well received that it sparked two more films, Oceans Twelve and Thirteen. Take a look to see what it was like on the set of the Ocean’s series, unknown facts about the movies, and why they were liked by so many people.

It looks like Mark Wahlberg is a little sore about passing up the chance to be in the movies.

They Had To Change A Major Scene In Ocean’s Eleven After The 9/11 Attacks


Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

In the original cut of the film, there was a scene where the New York, New York Hotel and Casino are destroyed by explosives. However, it was decided that the scene looked far too similar to the destruction of the World Trade Center earlier that year in 2001.

Instead, they made some changes to the CG and changed the hotel to a fake one called “The Xanadu.” Although the film’s creators and production team admit that it was a bit of a last minute scramble, it was the right thing to do considering the state of the nation at that time.

The Actors Took Much Less Pay Than They Were Used To


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It’s no secret that the cast of Ocean’s Eleven was a star-studded group. With the likes of George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt, it was considered to be a dream-team of actors. However, because there were so many renowned actors, it meant that they all couldn’t be compensated as they usually would on any other film.

Julia Roberts had just finished her Academy Award-winning film, Erin Brockovich, but still agreed to lower pay. In the end, the stars didn’t mind because it was an opportunity for them to all work together which may not have happened otherwise.

Whalberg Was Considered For The Film


Photo Credit: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

During pre-production for the film, Mark Wahlberg was at the top of the list to play Linus Caldwell who was later played by Matt Damon. Wahlberg turned down the role to star in Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes. It appears he seems to regret after the success of the Ocean’s franchise.

In an interview with Today, he displayed his sourness when he said “People tell George Clooney it’s great, but we all know it sucked. I made two bad movies instead […] Planet of the Apes and The Truth About Charlie […] but doing that was better than sitting with Brad and George, telling the press how great everybody is.”

See why Don Cheadle wasn’t credited in the first film.

George Clooney Helped To Persuade Roberts To Act In The Film


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Back when the cast was still being assembled, George Clooney, as well as the other actors desperately wanted Julia Roberts to join them in the film. At the time, however, Roberts was the highest-paid actor, making around $20 million a movie. That kind of pay was out of the question for Ocean’s Eleven.

So, when George Clooney sent Roberts the script, he also attached a $20 bill with a note that said: “I hear you’re getting 20 a picture now.” It looks like Roberts appreciated the joke and soon after agreed to act in the movie.

Luke And Owen Wilson Were Supposed To Be Involved


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Although Scott Caan and Casey Afflick nailed the roles of the Malloy Brothers, Turk and Virgil, they were not the original pick for the characters. Director Steven Soderbergh had his eyes on Luke and Owen Wilson to play the rambunctious and continuously bickering brothers.

Although the offer was enticing considering the cast and hype surrounding the movie, Luke and Owen Wilson ended up choosing to act in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums. However, nobody is complaining about their decision to do so or Scott Caan and Casey Afflick’s performances.

Don Cheadle Isn’t Credited For The First Film


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If you paid attention to the credits, you might have noticed that Don Cheadle’s name is not present. He played the significant role of Basher Tarr in the film, so it may seem strange that he isn’t mentioned. As it turns out, this happened because of a disagreement between Cheadle and the production company.

Cheadle wanted his name to be above the title billing alongside with Matt Damon, George Clooney, and Brad Pitt. However, after he was refused, he asked for his name to be taken out of the credits entirely. However, his name to does appear in Ocean’s Twelve and Thirteen above the title billing.

Ever wonder why Brad Pitt’s character is always eating?

Don Cheadle Is Embarrassed By His Fake Accent In The Series


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Don Cheadle’s cheeky British accent and personality in the film have been ranked as one of the worst to date. Cheadle himself admitted that he thought his accent was terrible although he had legitimately worked on it for the film. He even went to London for some time to listen to others talk and get the accent as close as possible.

After realizing how bad it was in Ocean’s Eleven, Cheadle asked if he could change it for the remaining films but was denied by his manager. Now, he says he’s stuck with the accent and is well aware that people laugh behind his back.

Ocean’s Twelve Is Soderbergh’s Favorite


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Although Ocean’s Twelve was the least successful of the three films so far, Soderbergh has revealed it was his favorite to make. Not only did the film do the worst at the box office, but it was also torn apart by critics and considered to be an underwhelming sequel to the first.

However, Soderbergh’s reason for liking it so much was that he had much more creative freedom. This freedom allowed him to interact with the audience through the characters and film in a style he had always wanted to. He considered it to be more a work of cinematic art than other films he has worked on.

Why Brad Pitt’s Character Is Always Eating


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Bratt Pitt plays Rusty in the Ocean’s series. In almost every scene, Rusty is eating something. However, this wasn’t written in the original script but was Brad Pitt’s idea. Because the crew was always on a tight schedule, they rarely had time even to sit down and eat. So, Pitt found a way to incorporate eating into his character’s personality.

With Rusty always eating no matter how intense the situation, it showed his calmness and how he was rarely bothered enough to prevent him from eating. Pitt’s idea ended up working great and became a staple for the character.

See why George Clooney isn’t a fan of the original movie.

Julia Roberts Was The Victim Of Endless Pranks


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Although Roberts was excited to be a part of the movie, she knew that she was going to be the target of many pranks. She was the only woman amidst a group of male Hollywood stars and knew their antics had to be taken out on someone. She was subjected to 5 a.m. wake up calls when she didn’t have to be on set until noon, as well as many other pranks.

She even claimed she was afraid to go into her room at night for fear of booby traps or some other kind of prank. Out of all the boys, she pointed out Clooney as the ringleader although she had no hard feelings about the jokes.

A Nod To The Bourne Ultimatum


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In Ocean’s Thirteen, there is a nod to Matt Damon’s other film franchise, The Bourne series. While Matt Damon’s character Linus Coldwell is on a London street describing his anxieties and paranoia about having multiple identities, the camera begins to shake in a cinematic effect.

This effect occurs throughout The Bourne series, which Soderbergh added as a sort of homage. The other thing connecting the two films is that Matt Damon filmed the Ocean’s Thirteen scene during one of his days off from shooting for the Bourne Ultimatum.

George Clooney Isn’t A Fan Of The Original


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Believe it or not, George Clooney does not consider himself a fan of the original Ocean’s Eleven that was released in 1960. The original film featured the infamous Rat Pack which Clooney believes is the only reason that anybody even knows the movie’s name.

Despite playing one of the main characters, he can’t find himself to like the original. In an interview with the Los Angeles Time, he said that when people say the original is one of their favorite movies, he has serious doubts that anyone can like it.

Apparently, George Clooney isn’t very good at gambling in real life.

Matt Damon Asked For A Smaller Role In Ocean’s Twelve


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Before filming Ocean’s Twelve, Matt Damon asked for the script to be edited so that he could play a smaller role in the film. He was exhausted from working on The Bourne series and Ocean’s simultaneously and wanted a little break from making movies.

However, his request was denied because his character was too crucial to the film and to shorten his role would severely take away from the whole movie. However, the script was altered to shorten Julia Roberts’ part who had just found out she was pregnant with twins before filming had begun.

Soderbergh Was Hands-Off At Times


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Because all three films have such an expert group of actors, Soderbergh had a hands-off approach to directing at times. He didn’t think it was necessary to micromanage the group of Hollywood stars at all time because he trusted their film knowledge as well. One thing in particular that Soderbergh allowed the actors to do was give them the freedom to organize themselves.

While in a group scene, they would choose where others would be standing to make the scene worked best. Soderbergh would give them the time frame to the scene and let them set it up themselves.

The Series Was Almost In Black And White


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Steven Soderbergh has always been considered a bit of a film auteur. So, initially, for the Ocean’s series, he intended to film in black and white. He thought this would be a tip of the hat to the original film but later changed his mind.

He came to the conclusion that it would have been more expensive, and also would have taken away from his more modern approach to the concept. Soderbergh eventually was able to make his black and white film in the George Clooney’s film Good Night, and Good Luck.

Gambling Didn’t Just Occur On-Screen


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While shooting in one of the biggest gambling cities in the world, it’s no surprise that the cast spent a fair amount of time gambling and partying as well. With full access to some of the biggest casinos around, a few of the actors took a liking to gambling with some doing better for themselves than others.

Clooney claims that Matt Damon was the best gambler of the group and Damon maintains that it was Pitt who did the best. It is agreed upon by all that Clooney by far did the worst, especially after he lost 25 hands of blackjack in a row and Damon had to pick up his tab.

The First Film Wasn’t Accepted By The Rat Pack


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Upon the release of Ocean’s Eleven, Joey Bishop, the last surviving member of the original Rat Pack had some less-than-kind things to say about the movie. He called out the film saying:

“Give me a break. There will only ever be one Rat Pack. It’s a joke. All they are doing in the remake is a cheap impersonation of the original Rat Pack. People knew about Frank and his broads and Dean and his drinking. They knew that we partied together. With the new version, you’ve got five or six people who never had any association with each other off screen.” He claims that the Rat Pack was a close group of guys that were friends off-screen and not just random actors.

A Hidden In-Movie Joke


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In the film, actor Andy Garcia plays Terry Benedict, a character loosely based on the real owner of the Bellagio Steve Wynn. In one scene, Benedict warns Rusty “If you should be picked up buying a $100,000 sports car in Newport Beach, I’d be disappointed.”

This line is a reference to the kidnapping of Wynn’s daughter in 1993 who was then released unharmed after being paid a $1.45 million ransom. The kidnapper was arrested just six days later attempting to pay for a $200,000 Ferrari in Newport Beach. A bit of a dark joke, but only for those who catch it.

Shrimp Continuity Error


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As we already know, Brad Pitt’s character Rusty can always be seen eating. In one particular scene when he’s eating shrimp, there’s an obvious continuity error. At first, Pitt is eating shrimp cocktail out of a goblet. yet, as the camera cuts back and forth between Pitt and the other actors it changes from a goblet to a platter and then back to a goblet again.

Altogether the scene took many times to get right although they still missed the continuity error. Unfortunately for Brad Pitt, he ended up having to eat over 40 shrimp before they finished the scene.

The Problem With “The Pinch”


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In Ocean’s Eleven, the gang uses a device known as “The Pinch” to create an electromagnetic shock to create a blackout in Las Vegas. Although devices such as “The Pinch” exist, they can only be found in highly-protected labs and are as big as entire buildings.

They can’t fit in a van like in the movie. It has been explained that the only thing that would sound out an electromagnetic pulse big enough to cause a full-scale blackout in Las Vegas would be an atomic bomb. So, no matter how fool-proof the group’s plan may seem, there are some definite plot holes.