“To my mind that was going to be tricky”: George Clooney’s ‘Ocean’s 11’ Deserves More Respect for Challenging One Quentin Tarantino Movie in the Right Ways

George Clooney's Ocean's 11 skillfully competes with Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.

George Clooney Oceans 11 and Quentin Tarantino

SUMMARY

  • Steven Soderbergh revived Lewis Milestone's casino heist Ocean's 11 with a stellar cast, including George Clooney.
  • He has shared that he intended to create a film that diverged from Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.
  • He sought to blend two distinct styles, the elegance and technical precision of a classic heist film with the relaxed, off-hand charm of its performances.
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Steven Soderbergh revived Lewis Milestone’s casino heist Ocean’s 11 with a stellar cast, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon, among others. The film has since become a beloved classic along with the highest-grossing film of his career, so far. Following its success, he expanded the story into a trilogy with subsequent sequels.

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Ocean's 11
Matt Damon, George Clooney, and Brad Pitt in Ocean’s 11 | Credit: IMDb

However, creating a visually impressive heist film was not without its challenges, particularly in light of Soderbergh’s artistic intentions, as he aimed to create a cinematic experience that diverged sharply from Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 crime thriller.

Steven Soderbergh Envisioned Ocean’s 11 as a Non-Aggressive Heist Film

In an interview with BBC, Steven Soderbergh discussed his approach to the 2001 heist film Ocean’s 11. The filmmaker expressed his intent to create a film that stood in stark contrast to Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 crime thriller Reservoir Dogs.

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Reservoir Dogs (1992) [Credit: Miramax]
Reservoir Dogs (1992) | Credit: Miramax
The 1992 film has become known for its off-screen heist, subsequent profanity and violence, and a meanness underscoring its male-dominated cast. Soderbergh, however, aimed to take a different path as he did not want to incorporate the gritty, profane, and violent heist narrative.

The filmmaker explained that he sought to blend two distinct styles, the elegance and technical precision of a classic heist film with the relaxed, off-hand charm of its performances. “I wanted to see if I could combine two types of films,” he said while explaining,

One that had this elegant, elaborate, technical side but also this casual off-hand quality to the performances – a film that wasn’t aggressive. That was the trick, to see if we could find that balance to have it deliver on the big movie side, but make sure that it wasn’t mean, that it didn’t have male characters that were insulting each other. That it wasn’t profane or violent.

Ocean's 11
Ocean’s 11 | Credit: Warner Bros.

Steven Soderbergh acknowledged the challenge of bringing his vision to life, saying, “To my mind that was going to be tricky.” However, his intentions resulted in a film that defied conventions with Ocean’s 11 starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon among others.

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The film managed to deliver a captivating heist with a relaxed, non-aggressive tone with characters exhibiting camaraderie and respect. Soderbergh’s approach and the final outcome not only differentiated it significantly from films like Reservoir Dogs but also set a new standard for ensemble heist films.

George Clooney Reflected on Ocean’s 11 Prequel

While the original cast of the Ocean’s trilogy isn’t expected to be reuniting on-screen anytime soon, the studio has announced a prequel to the 2001 film, which is said to be focusing on Danny Ocean’s parents. Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie will be taking on the leading roles in the prequel.

George Clooney as Danny Ocean
George Clooney as Danny Ocean | Credit: Warner Bros.

George Clooney, who took on the lead role in Steven Soderbergh’s trilogy, humorously reflected on the Barbie stars potentially playing his on-screen parents in the prequel. “Margot Robbie’s my mother? I’ve always thought that. And Ryan Gosling is my father, and when you think about it, it makes sense. Truly,” he said, as per Variety.

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Helmed by Jay Roach, the prequel would be the next film after Sandra Bullock’s 2018 spin-off, which followed Danny Ocean’s sister in the franchise. While details about the prequel are scarce, reports suggest it will be set in 1960s Europe.

Ocean’s 11 trilogy is available to stream on Prime Video.

Reservoir Dogs is available to stream on Prime Video.

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Written by Laxmi Rajput

Articles Published: 2429

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.