George Clooney insists Wahlberg and Depp “regret” not joining Ocean’s Eleven cast

Ocean’s Elevent had a massive cast, but star George Clooney is calling out some big names that turned down Matt Damon’s character.

Ocean's Eleven cast

You think we need one more? You think we need one more. What about two more? Ocean’s Eleven star George Clooney has taken a dig at some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, but only because they turned down the chance to join the ensemble cast of the 2001 heist film.

Speaking at this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival, Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh sat down with Ben Mankiewicz, where the topic of Ocean’s Eleven and its cast was brought up. Putting the release into context, Clooney said, “Steven had just done Erin Brockovich and Traffic, and he was nominated for directing both films…So, people really wanted to work with Steven.” At that point, Soderbergh interjected, saying that there were still plenty of marquee names that snubbed the project. As Clooney put it, “Some very famous people told us to fuck right off. Mark Wahlberg, Johnny Depp. There were others. They regret it now. I regret doing fucking Batman.” Oh come on, George, you’ve got to be a little proud

Wahlberg and Depp were both in the running for the role of Linus Caldwell, the pickpocket eventually played by Matt Damon. As far as whether or not they actually regret it, it seems unlikely for Depp, who would do both Blow and From Hell in 2001, which was soon followed by his own franchise, playing Captain Jack Sparrow in five Pirates of the Caribbean movies (so far?). Wahlberg, meanwhile, opted to do Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake, so, yeah, he might have a few Batman & Robin-sized regrets of his own.

Even without the aforementioned stars in the cast,Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen would go on to gross $1.12 billion worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing trilogies ever. It also spawned a 2018 all-female spin-off, Ocean’s 8, which killed off Clooney’s Danny Ocean. Other people that turned down roles in the trilogy includes Owen and Luke Wilson (the Malloy brothers), Bruce Willis and more. Willis would, however, cameo as himself in Ocean’s Twleve.

How do you think Wahlberg or Depp would have done as Linus in the cast of Ocean’s Eleven? Let us know your thoughts!

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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2005 Articles Published

Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.