Warner Bros. must really love Margot Robbie, because the studio is once again calling on the Oscar-nominated actress to head up one of their blockbuster franchises. The Harley Quinn actress will star in and produce a reboot of the Ocean’s Eleven film series, with hopes that production can begin in the spring of 2023. Although the studio has not officially greenlit the project, it is in active development, and Jay Roach (the Austin Powers series) is on board to direct, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Rather than making a sequel to the four most recent Ocean’s films, the new movie will go back to the series’ “Rat Pack” roots by setting it in the 1960s. Margot Robbie seems to be right at home making pictures set in the era–she was absolutely perfect as Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, set in 1969. The new film will be set in Europe during the 1960s, rather than the Las Vegas setting of most of the previous films. Carrie Solomon is writing the script, but no other details on the plot are available. Steven Soderbergh, who wrote and directed the three Ocean’s films led by George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon, is on board as an executive producer, but it appears his involvement in the creative process will be limited.
Robbie is currently filming Barbie for Warner Bros., playing the iconic doll in a live-action adaptation alongside Will Ferrell. That film is due for release in the summer of 2023. Warner Bros. has relied heavily on Margot Robbie to carry their Suicide Squad franchise, as well as its Harley Quinn spinoffs. Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn was a hit for Warners’ DC Studios, despite lackluster reviews. A second Harley film, Gothan City Sirens, is currently in development. 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven was a remake of the 1960 film of the same name, which starred Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. All the films revolve around a gang of thieves who hit Las Vegas casinos (although Ocean’s Twelve took a diversion to Europe for a heist).
The Ocean’s franchise has been a bit derailed since 2018’s Ocean’s Eight failed to connect with critics and moviegoers. Despite a fantastic cast, led by Sandra Bullock (playing the sister of original star George Clooney), Cate Blanchett, and Anne Hathaway, the film failed to capture the charm of the original, and felt like an unoriginal knockoff. Audiences gave it a 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and despite a $140 million domestic box office haul, no plans for a follow-up are planned. It is hoped that a Margot Robbie-led film, with a period setting and a new cast, can recapture the original magic.
Margot Robbie has been nominated for two Oscars in her career, most recently as Best Supporting Actress in 2019’s Bombshell. She earned a Best Actress nomination for playing Tonya Harding in 2017’s I, Tonya. Jay Roach directed Bombshell, a rare dramatic departure for him, so it is hoped his pairing with Robbie can once again be a winning combination. He also directed the Meet the Parents films. Robbie’s other notable films include Mary, Queen of Scots, The Big Short, and The Wolf of Wall Street. Her upcoming films include Ruin, Asteroid City, and Babylon.