Cate Blanchett Is Circling The All-Female ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ Film

Still just a rumour/possibility, we’ll keep you updated!

You’ll remember last fall we broke the news: Sandra Bullock would be starring in an all-female “Ocean’s Eleven” film directed by Gary Ross (“The Hunger Games,” “Seabiscuit”). The project was concocted by Ross, who brought the idea to original ‘Ocean’s’ franchise director Steven Soderbergh. He in turn brought it to the late producer Jerry Weintraub and with Bullock in tow, the team was off and running (though the project was secretly in existence months before we reported it).

With a solid pitch from Ross, a longtime pal of Soderbergh’s, it was a no-brainer for Soderbergh to step aside and let Ross, director of the upcoming Civil War drama “Free State of Jones,” take over. However, there’s more.

Sources close to the project tell The Playlist that “Carol” star Cate Blanchett is currently in talks to join the film that is currently affectionately known as “Ocean’s Ocho” by the key creatives, which of course means eight principal thieves pulling off a heist, not eleven. Should the deal close, Blanchett would be playing the Brad Pitt role next to Bullock’s Clooney character at least as far as the outline goes. But neither actress is playing a female version of those characters. Instead, the roles are loosely modeled after the friendship/partnership dynamic established in the Soderbergh films.

Expected to be a star-studded affair, the film is aiming to shoot this late fall/early winter, but that may put the brakes on the rumored involvement of Jennifer Lawrence. Apparently, she may have a scheduling conflict. While Lawrence has a relationship with Ross (he directed her in “The Hunger Games,” and the pair had been developing a two-part adaptation of John Steinbeck‘s “East Of Eden” and an adaptation of Hannah Kent‘s bestselling “Burial Rites”), we’re hearing her name in connection to the film is early and her involvement may not pan out.

While there was some early talk that George Clooney’s Danny Ocean character could cameo in the film, that idea has been nixed for now. However, they have loose plans for sequels should the movie take off, and it’s possible the character could appear down the road.

Female-led franchises are all the rage, but “Ocean’s Eleven” was actually conceived before the all-female-lead “Ghostbusters.” You’ll recall us mentioning an email from the Sony hack where studio head Amy Pascal got wind of the gestating female “Ocean’s Eleven” project and pushed to get her all-female “Ghostbusters” into production first.

There’s no word on further casting, but expect a lot of top-shelf female talent to round out the ensemble. The picture will be produced by Ross, Soderbergh, Greg Jacobs, Susan Ekins (Weintraub’s partner), and no, “Ocean’s Ocho” isn’t the official title, but just a pet name for the project so far.