Warning: Possible Ocean’s 8 spoilers ahead. If you haven’t seen it yet, get thee to a movie theater.
There are tons of blink-or-you’ll-miss-it celebrity cameos in Ocean’s 8. Kim Kardashian! Kendall and Kylie Jenner! Gigi Hadid! Olivia Munn! Anna Wintour herself! Because what would the Met Gala be without Hollywood’s most fashionable A-listers? In addition, the film has fictional cameos from the Ocean’s franchise as well. Yen (Shaobo Qin) wows the crowd with surprise heist acrobatics while Danny Ocean (George Clooney) simply appears in a photograph. They’re subtle nods to the first films without overwhelming or taking over the story.
Well, it turns out that there were supposed to be other Ocean’s franchise cameos as well. Specifically from Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon) and Saul Bloom (Carl Reiner). But ultimately, they didn’t make the final cut of the film. And now, we have an explanation regarding why.
“[Picking the cameos] is an eclectic process of: how does it fit in the story and how is the narrative unfolding?” Ocean’s 8 director and co-writer Gary Ross told The Hollywood Reporter. “This more than any movie I’ve done had a really copious editorial process where you play with stuff, you find stuff. I’ve never shot anything after I’ve wrapped on any other movie before, but in a heist movie and an ensemble movie, you’re still working on the play. And we did a bunch of that, and so that was satisfying as well.”
One possible theory is that Damon’s Ocean’s 8 cameo was cut after he made some misguided comments about sexual harassment during an interview with ABC News last December.
A “Remove Matt Damon” petition even made the rounds on the internet, urging Hollywood to cut him from Ocean’s 8. While we don’t actually know (and likely never will know) if the petition impacted the final decision, in the end, Linus Caldwell was left on the editing room floor.
Ross emphasized that there was just a lot of material to choose from, and not everything could make the final cut.
A Linus Caldwell callback might have been a nice cameo for fans of the Ocean’s franchise, but we think it works pretty well without him.
A Matt Damon-free Ocean’s 8 is now playing in theaters.