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This is how Ocean’s 8 connects to Ocean’s 11

There are a few fan-servicing nods to the George Clooney/Brad Pitt movie

Warner Bros.
Russ Frushtick is the director of special projects, and he has been covering the world of video games and technology for over 15 years. He co-founded Polygon in 2012.

This week’s Ocean’s 8 is out on theaters, with Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock stepping in as the heist ringleader, Debbie Ocean — sister to the original movie’s Danny Ocean. To pilfer a necklace from the annual Met Gala, Debbie recruits an all-new, all-female gang of thieves. How does the crime connect to the franchise’s male-only mainstays?

Apart from the obvious story structure, there are few worthy nods to the past movies. Here’s how it all lines up.

[Warning: the rest of this post contains major spoilers for Ocean’s 8]


Ocean’s 8 kicks off with a parole hearing, much like Ocean’s 11 did. This time it’s Debbie convincing a parole board that she’s reformed and is ready to rejoin society. In the original it was George Clooney’s character, Danny, in the exact same situation.


Within the first 10 minutes of Ocean’s 8, we’re shown what appears to be Danny’s final resting place, with his listed death year as 2018. Debbie visits the grave to pay her respects and to make some snide remarks about the possibility that he may have faked his own death. This gag returns throughout the film, with people making reference to the fact that they’re not really sure if he’s dead. He probably is, though, because George Clooney is a busy dude and already did three of these movies.

Warner Bros.


The Ocean’s series has some monumentally famous faces (Clooney, Pitt, Damon), none of whom show up in Ocean’s 8, save for a photo of Clooney. But we do get a semi-famous face in Elliott Gould, who returns as the curmudgeonly Reuben to offer Debbie some sage wisdom at Danny’s gravesite. All we can really say is that he’s dressed like Jay-Z crossed with a prohibition gangster. Debbie says he looks sharp.


Very late in the movie we learn that there was, in-fact, a heist within a heist. In order to pull it off, Debbie secretly recruits the help of another Ocean’s mainstay: Yen. Played by Shaobo Qin, Yen is the acrobat who Danny enlists for his initial casino vault heist, and subsequently reappears in the other films. Well, Yen is back again, basically doing what he’s good at, which is hanging from the ceiling and performing impressive feats of criminality.

That’s basically it for nods to other Ocean’s movies in Ocean’s 8. If you were expecting a surprise Brad Pitt, sorry, you only get one of those a year.

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