Why Matt Damon's Ocean's 8 Cameo Was Cut

The actor was set to reprise his role as Linus Caldwell from the 2000s trilogy

By Zach Johnson Jun 11, 2018 4:45 PMTags
Ocean's TwelveWarner Bros.

From Katie Holmes to Kim Kardashian, Ocean's 8 had nearly too many cameos to count.

So, where was Matt Damon in the midst of the Met Gala heist? In February 2017, the actor confirmed to E! News that he was set to return as Linus Caldwell and would begin filming "in a few weeks." Damon would be the lone main cast member from the original trilogy to reprise his role. "My scene is not with any of the boys," he said. "From what I understand there will be more boys in it, but I don't have any scenes—as far as I know—with any of the other boys in it."

Sarah Paulson, Cate Blanchett & Mindy Kaling on "Ocean's 8"
Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros.

Choosing which cameos made the final cut as an "eclectic process," director Gary Ross told The Hollywood Reporter. "How does it fit in the story and how is the narrative unfolding? 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." Speaking to Damon's excised cameo in particular, Ross added, "There were a lot of people who were gracious to us that just for editorial and storytelling reasons didn't make it in and some who did. We ended up shooting probably another 10 days afterwards, so there's a lot of material and a lot of shaping. It really just comes to storytelling."

So, who did make it into the movie?

Early in Ocean's 8, former casino owner Reuben Tishkoff (Elliot Gould) shows up and warns Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) not to go through with her planned robbery. There's another returning character in the film, but it's too integral to reveal without spoiling a major plot point.

Ocean's 8 debuted at No. 1, raking in $41.5 million at the domestic box office. In addition to Bullock, the all-star cast includes Richard Armitage, Awkwafina, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, James Corden, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson and Rihanna. Lily Aldridge, Common, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Heidi Klum, Olivia Munn, Zac Posen, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Anna Wintour also appear in cameos.