Villains are just as important as heroes nowadays, especially in team-up movies. Back when the original Ocean’s 11 was released in 1960, a villainous character named Duke Santos didn’t even show up until after the lovable heroes had already pulled off their amazing casino heist.
By the time Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and company remade the movie as Ocean’s Eleven in 2001, villains had become essential, so villainous casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) became an integral element in the heist flick and also its sequel, Ocean’s Twelve. The third installment, Ocean’s Thirteen, featured nasty businessman Willy Bank (Al Pacino).
Now that the primary heroines of spin-off movie Ocean’s Eight have been assembled — Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafine and Sarah Paulson — focus has turned to the villainous side of the equation. Who will be the “big bad” that stands up to the challenge of dealing with a new group of wily thieves on a mission to pull off a big heist?
Damian Lewis is in final negotiations to join the cast as Bullock’s former lover, according to Variety. The character will also be the target of the heist. The British actor has lately been busy in British and American TV shows (Homeland, Wolf Hall, Billions) as well as movies (Queen of the Desert, Our Kind of Traitor). His screen personality moves easily between charming and sympathetic figures and dastardly bad guys, so he sounds like he’d be a great addition to the cast as a villain.
Production is touted to get underway soon in New York. Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) will direct. Ocean’s Eight is scheduled to open in theaters on June 8, 2018.