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Trivia / Ocean's Eleven

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  • All-Star Cast: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Andy García are just a piece of cake. The entire trilogy consists of one big name after another, including cameos. The in-universe spin-off, Ocean's 8, just adds even more names with Sandra Bullock as Danny's sister and Cate Blanchett, among others, on the lead.
  • Author Existence Failure: George Clooney is on the record as stating there will never be another Ocean's movie since Bernie Mac has died, at least not with the original crew. A spinoff, Ocean's 8, focusing on Danny's sister Debbie (played by Sandra Bullock) was released in 2018.
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  • Breakaway Pop Hit: The Elvis Presley song "A Little Less Conversation" was chosen for the Las Vegas montage because it was identifiable as a Vegas song yet not as obvious as "Viva Las Vegas". One of Elvis' least known songs, it received a remixed version and became a hit on the radio.
  • California Doubling: In Twelve, when the crew enters the Thalys on Amsterdam Central Station, they are actually on Haarlem Central Station. The actual station in Amsterdam was undergoing major renovations, which didn't look pretty on screen. For this occasion, a Thalys was transported from Amsterdam to Haarlem. Unfortunately, this Thalys pulled down a catenary, causing property damage and delays in shooting.
  • The Cast Showoff: Vincent Cassel is a fantastic Capoeira practitioner. So is his character, François Toulour.
  • Completely Different Title:
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    • In Russia, the film became "Eleven friends of Ocean's". Ditto for the sequels, even though not everyone in the list can be accurately called a friend of Ocean's.
    • It became La gran estafa ("The big scam") in Latin America. The same goes with their sequels, Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen in Latin América, named respectively La nueva gran estafa ("The new big scam") and Ahora son 13 ("They are now 13").
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: Steven Soderbergh named Ocean's Twelve as his favourite in the trilogy.
  • Dawson Casting: A possible example with Linus. His exact age is never stated, but he's clearly meant to be quite a bit younger than 30, which was Matt Damon's age at the time the first film was released.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Twelve started out life as a stand-alone heist flick about two dueling master thieves, and was turned into an Ocean's installment when the first film's massive popularity required a sequel as quick as possible. The role of the protagonist was split between Danny (master thief), Rusty (relationship with Europol agent), and (to a certain extent) Linus.
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  • Dueling-Stars Movie: In both the original Rat Pack and modern versions.
  • DVD Commentary: On the director and writer track for Ocean's Eleven, they comment a few times on the fact that there are probably only three people who bother to listen to these things.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: The entire cast worked for less than their usual salaries to bring down the budget.
  • Fake Brit: American Don Cheadle plays Basher Tarr with poor-Cockney abandon, complete with jokes about its incomprehensible rhyming slang.
    Basher: So unless we intend to do this job in Reno, we're in barney. (everyone looks confused) Barney Rubble. (still confused) Trouble!
  • Hostility on the Set: By all accounts, Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones were so hostile on the set of Twelve that they eventually had to be kept completely separate, never even being on the set at the same time. It's perhaps one of the reasons the film is a Sophomore Slump, and why neither actress returned for Thirteen.
  • Inspiration for the Work: Screenwriter Ted Griffin was inspired by The Magnificent Seven (1960) and The Great Escape. He liked the way the men in those movies had a shorthand with each other that only they understood.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: There is a scene in the trailer in which Danny asks the parole-board members how much they earn a year. This was cut from the movie because the director talked to some actual parole-board members and they all agreed that if a prospective parolee were to make that comment, he'd be denied parole.
  • Prop Recycling: The wig Rusty uses while posing as a doctor in Eleven is the same one that was used by Mike Myers during his rehearsals of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
  • Talking to Himself: Averted in the Italian dub. Before the film was made, Brad Pitt and George Clooney were always dubbed by the same actor. Instead of having him voice both actors, the studio had him continue to be the Italian Brad Pitt and hired another actor to be Clooney.
  • Throw It In!:
    • The Running Gag of Rusty eating something during a scene came from Brad Pitt's penchant to eat close to shooting rather than on breaks, so Steven Soderbergh decided to just let him eat on-camera. During the numerous takes needed to film the scene of Rusty and Linus spying on Tess by the staircase, Brad Pitt ate 40 shrimp.
    • Don Cheadle covering his "special place" and turning it away as he sets off the EMP.
    • The fountain scene at the end was partly improvised. Steven Soderbergh wanted Brad Pitt to leave first, and Carl Reiner to leave last. The other actors were instructed to line up and leave whenever it felt natural.
  • Uncredited Role: Despite having a major role, Don Cheadle is uncredited in Eleven. This was due to a dispute over his billing. He wanted an above-title billing alongside George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt. When he was denied, he refused to be credited at all. He received above-title billing in the sequels, however.
  • Vacation, Dear Boy: Most of the cast admits they did Twelve just to have a nice overseas vacation. Specifically, they just wanted to get paid to party at George Clooney's villa. Brad Pitt said he thought it was funny that Catherine Zeta-Jones "thought we were making a movie."
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Steven Soderbergh originally wanted to make the entire film black and white, but changed his mind when the studio warned they would cut the film's budget if he did so.
    • Jon Favreau was initially offered to write the screenplay for the film but he turned it down.
    • Bruce Willis was originally considered to play Danny.
    • Mark Wahlberg was originally considered for the role of Linus but opted to do Planet of the Apes (2001) instead. Johnny Depp was also considered.
    • Luke and Owen Wilson were originally considered for the roles of Virgil and Turk, Danny Glover was originally going to play Frank, and Bill Murray was supposed to make a cameo as a lounge singer, but they were all busy with The Royal Tenenbaums.
    • The Coen Brothers were considered to play the Molloy twins, but they declined.
    • Ewan McGregor was originally considered for the role of Basher, but he was busy with Black Hawk Down.
    • Sydney Pollack, Don Rickles and Dennis Fraz were originally considered for the role of Reuben. Alan Arkin was originally cast, but had to drop out due to a family crisis.
    • Warren Beatty, Michael Douglas, and Ralph Fiennes were each originally considered for the role of Benedict.
    • Jet Li was considered for The Amazing Yen.
    • Originally, the hotel demolished by Benedict was going to be the New York, New York. However, this was quickly changed to the fictional Xanadu hotel shortly before the theatrical release due to the 9/11 attacks.
    • The scene where Danny calls his parole officer was originally supposed to be in a crowded deli. However, the assistant director went outside and saw a great shot that included the Trump Plaza sign.
    • In his first scene, Rusty is actually facing a large mural of Frank Sinatra. In an attempt to distance the movie from the original 1960 version, however, the director decided not to show the mural.
    • Ricky Gervais turned down the role of Basher's engineer in Twelve, saying, "Why say a couple of lines opposite Brad Pitt when I could be playing leads back home?"
    • The original ending for Soderbegh's Eleven had Tess rejecting Danny even after the heist, but was changed for a more upbeat ending, as well as Benedict's manager realizing how the heist happened, but was switched to Benedict to portray the character sharper.
  • Write Who You Know: Screenwriter Ted Griffin based Virgil and Turk's constant bickering on fights he had with his own brother when they were younger.

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