Rumors of an all-female remake of everyone’s favorite heist film have been swirling for quite some time, and on Wednesday news broke that Rihanna, Sandra Bullock, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, and Helena Bonham Carter are among the actresses who will reportedly be cast in “Ocean’s 8.”
Like many other fans, I’m excited to see these ladies all in the same film, but the timing of this announcement seems disingenuous. I would venture a guess that the studio executives at Warner Bros are trying to out-feminist the studio executives over at Colombia Pictures, which recently debuted an all-female remake of the beloved “Ghostbusters” film.
Here’s how I imagine the pitch meeting for “Ocean’s 8” went down in a smoky executive boardroom somewhere in Warner Bros.’ studio office.
Balding Male Executive #1: Gee, Colombia Pictures got loudly applauded for that lousy ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot. We could really use some nice tweets from Lena Dunham.
Male Executive #2: You know she doesn’t tweet anything herself, right?
Glasses-wearing Male Executive #3: We could just make another biopic about a queen. . .
Male Executive #2: I’ve got it! We’ll pick a well-loved film and recast all the male leads with female actors.
Balding Male Executive #1: Brilliant! And we can pay them all less because they’re ALL women.
Executive #2: I’ll make some calls.
I’m not the only one who’s sick of having studio executives from the wage-gap capital of the world mansplain feminism. As Amy Robert’s points out, Hollywood seems to only be interested in throwing “cinematic slops” to women.
“In 2016, why is it that the movie industry feels as though it can only entrust a blockbuster movie to women as long as the film’s story and characters are based on already successful male ones?” she writes.
She has a point — this is Hollywood — the place where women are consistently paid less than men, the town that forgets about women the second they turn 40, the place where it’s hard for women to get roles any deeper than the shallow end of a kiddie pool, the city that hides its actresses of color.
If Tinseltown were really trying to get behind its leading ladies, they would start paying them more and give them better roles. Or they could consider developing some uniquely feminine themes and franchises rather than pretending, like feminists, that women are at their best and coolest when they do all the same things men do (only worse…because they’re women). But the rash of gender-swapping reboots underscores the fact that Hollywood is still really, really bad at treating women like people. “Ocean’s 8” proves Hollywood’s only interest in feminism is to treat women like pawns in a game of tribalism.