The 2001 Ocean's Eleven remake captures the Rat Pack spirit of the 1960 original, but with modern stars George Clooney and Brad Pitt gallivanting up and down the Las Vegas Strip. The casino heist adventure was such a hit that director Steven Soderbergh followed it with two sequels, building an entire universe of slick crooks and evil billionaires in the Mojave Desert. Here, five fun facts about the trilogy you may not have known.
Clooney's no fan of the original
When asked about stepping into Frank Sinatra's shoes to play smooth-talking con man Danny Ocean, Clooney has said that he thinks the 1960 film is only beloved because of its legendary cast. In a 2001 interview with the Los Angeles Times, the actor joked, "Everybody will say, you know, 'Oh, that's one of my favorite films,' and I'll always say, 'Have you ever seen it?'"
Luke and Owen Wilson were supposed to play the Malloy brothers
Scott Caan and Casey Affleck give memorable performances in all three films as the bickering, thrill-seeking Turk and Virgil Malloy, but if Soderbergh's original plan had come together, he would have had the Wilson brothers in those parts. Instead, Luke and Owen chose to star in The Royal Tenenbaums.
It was Pitt's idea for Rusty Ryan to be eating all the time
Each cast member brought his or her own quirks to their roles (and yes, that includes Don Cheadle's terrible cockney accent as Basher Tarr). Pitt figured that since the Ocean gang was on such a tight schedule, his character would have to grab fast-food whenever he could. The constant snacking ended up showing Rusty's unflappability.
Ocean's Twelve is Soderbergh's favorite of the three
It was less profitable than the other two – and it took a drubbing from the critics – yet the second Ocean's movie is fondly remembered by its director. Given more creative freedom, Soderbergh threw in more winks at the audience, and he experimented with the style of the film in ways he thinks make it hold up better today as a piece of cinematic art.
Matt Damon's Ocean's Thirteen London scene was shot while he was making The Bourne Ultimatum
One of the third movie's subtler inside jokes comes in a scene where Damon's Linus Caldwell is on a London street, talking about his paranoia and his multiple aliases while the camera shakes, just like in one of the Jason Bourne movies. Not only was this a nod to the star's blockbuster action franchise, but the scene was actually shot during one of Damon's days off from playing Jason Bourne.