A villain was intentionally left out of Ocean's 8 — because that would take away from watching the ladies work
There are spoilers ahead for the best movie of the summer, Ocean’s 8. So if you haven’t seen the movie yet please go see it right now. I’m asking politely.
The first Ocean’s Eleven movie, the one that introduced us to Danny Ocean & Co., centered around Danny getting back at a man named Terry Benedict. Danny wanted to take him down for a variety of reasons, one of them being that his ex wife, Tess, was now dating the casino mogul. So Danny orchestrated this elaborate heist to rob him clean and also steal his girl back — and it’s a plot that loosely carried over into the other two Ocean’s movies, Twelve and Thirteen. Danny and his crew go up against someone — a bad someone — to steal some stuff and take this someone down. They eventually win.
And now, with Ocean’s 8, we’ve got a crew of ladies who are looking to steal some stuff because…well, they’re good at stealing stuff. There is no antagonist working against them, unless you count society. Debbie Ocean (played by Sandra Bullock) spends a few years in jail in which she reflects on her life and also manages to plan the perfect heist. These eight ladies aren’t going up against anyone to prove a point or take a stand. They’re simply really damn good at what they do and realize that when they work together, they can bank a ton of money in a very short amount of time. With that reasoning, why wouldn’t you just decide to steal from the Met Gala?
And while, yes, Debbie *is* technically looking to get back at an ex who wronged her in the past, she’s not stealing from him. Getting him in trouble with the law is simply an added bonus. Leaving a villain out of the movie was always intentional and all came down to one simple fact:
It was way more exciting to see these women work together and steal shit than introduce another character that would have taken away from the fact we all just wanted to watch these women work.
“I think we realized that these women were who we wanted to spend time with, it was the team that was the most excited, and their plan and how intricate it was, and everything was going to happen the way they needed it to and the revelations and surprises,” the co-writer of Ocean’s 8, Olivia Milch, explained to HelloGiggles over the phone. “It just sort of occurred, to us and also in our experiencing watching and telling the story, that they were who we cared about and who we wanted to spend time with — and not say that the villain or the attack isn’t important to that.
“I think that’s something that we talk a lot about is like, we want to see a group of women do shit and have that be their role, that be their attention,” Milch said. “That’s really what it’s about. [It’s about them] pulling off the heist. So that I think is very exciting to get to spend time with them doing that, kind of regardless of how the obstacles are met in various ways.”
Introducing someone else simply as a road block to hinder them wasn’t necessary.
“In a sense, it was too limiting to make a particular [character] an antagonist,” Gary Ross, the film’s director and co-screenwriter jumps in. “What all these women were doing together as a [group was] bigger than that.”
So see, you don’t necessarily need a bad guy or a vengeance to do what you’re good at and steal a bunch of stuff. But okay, don’t steal stuff, because that’s bad. Leave that to Debbie Ocean and her band of professionals.