This is How ‘Oceans 8’ Should Play Out, In The Spirit of “Diversity” and Kickass Black Women
The trailer for the highly-anticipated Oceans 8 is making the rounds — and for those who can hardly wait — unfortunately the release date has been secured for early summer 2018.
The cast reads like every female caper that features leading actresses who’ve been profitably recycled according to the interests of a powerful studio system — that can’t identify with prototypes that don’t ooze the right amount of signature appeal — to guarantee the high-wattage required for marquee value.
Luckily for us — we have entered the age of “diversity” and this expanding avenue is literally building a force field of awareness in an industry that is determined to remain blissfully awash in the whiteness of authority and shameless privilege.
With that being said — there’s a lot to fuss about with the all-female version of the Oceans franchise that made its debut back in 2001 with the mighty accompaniment of male superstars — that still carry the currency of their worth with global swagger.
Oceans Eleven — which was director Steven Soderbergh’s hit remake of the 1960 starrer of the same name — featured George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia and Don Cheadle.
It makes perfect sense to seize this opportunity of progression by countering the old formula with a modernized template that reflects the temperament of those who are gunning to revitalize the shabby establishment — and the others who are trying their hardest to cope with the demands of forced enlightenment.
Either way — based on the first look afforded us — Oceans 8 seems to be saddled with the uninspiring rhetoric of its predecessors.
It plays it safe with the inclusion of seasoned veterans like Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway who are considered safe bets — across the board. Rihanna and Mindy Kaling seem to be the actresses of color that are recruited to even out the landscape — and of course the token Asian can’t be overlooked.
The plot of this latest installment is seeped in the delectable sauce of an ambitious heist that is revolved around New York’s renowned Met Gala — which means tons of celebrity cameos who will be Keeping up with the Kardashians — against the backdrop of glittery valuables.
Sounds interesting enough — except for the fact that the revolutionary quotient is direly missing.
No offense to this crew — but we’ve seen enough of what they can do — and as much as I adore Rihanna and Mindy — they will both also need to sit this one out. This erected banishment will also affect the lesser known — up and comer — Awkwafina.
In this age of franchise fever and reboots of gems that should be allowed to remain stoically undisturbed — it has become a real challenge for storytellers with original processes to break through the waves of generic shit — for the rare chance to be feted for their offerings.
I’m taking the chance to elect my dream scenario for Oceans 8, which will retain that title based on the connection to Don Cheadle’s character — Basher Tarr, “an explosives expert” who has a younger sister — Veronique “Roni” (played by Danai Gurira) who gets word about her Lagos-based — Nigerian boyfriend’s sudden and mysterious death. Daniel will be played by Gbenga Akinnagbe.
This new development activates the start of an adventure that begins with Roni’s need to uncover what happened to Daniel, which leads to questions that need to be answered and a scheme that begins to rapidly unfold. Roni confides in her cousin Sabra (played by Lupita Nyong’o) and her elusive brother Basher — and with their encouragement and support — she decides to to embark on the quest for justice and vengeance.
Her girlfriends in New York City — comprise of her business team and these brilliant women — Tina (played by Issa Rae), Jace (played by Aja Naomi King) and Coral (played by Tika Sumpter) are well-versed in their roles of helping to facilitate ventures from overseas while also hooking themselves up with the rewards that filter in.
They are more than ready to blaze the globe with Roni and Sabra and even Zea (played by Gabourey Sidibe) — the efficient and whimsical office manager is finally invited to join her bosses after rejecting the recommendation of “holding down the forte.”
As the plans begin to take shape — the team alerts their contacts to ready them for the scope of this well-orchestrated operation that will take them to their first stop — Lagos — where an old friend — Mercy (played by Yvonne Orji) with associations that are rooted in in the oil company that Daniel did business with — is perfectly positioned to anchor the bulk of the investigation.
Flora, (played by Michaela Cole) is based in London — and she’s the glue that will bind the team’s imminent arrival — and eventual entry into Abu Dhabi where it all culminates in a showdown at the famed Louvre Abu Dhabi — during the jewelry international show.
Cameos will include: Don Cheadle, Claire-Hope Ashitey, Nathalie Emmanuel, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Tina Turner, Daniel Kaluuya, Danny Glover, Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, and notables from the Nollywood community, including Genevieve Nnaji, Tiwa Savage and Odunlade Adekola.
The music will be impacted by the oldies and newbies with emphasis on Nina Simone’s Sinnerman which will storm the trailer when it hits with a refreshing opener.
This is my vision board and I’m unapologetically sharing it with gusto and pride.
Now, where my girls at?