One of the most anticipated summer blockbusters hitting the big screen this June is Ocean’s 8, the female-led Ocean’s Eleven reboot. In the movie, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) – Danny Ocean’s (George Clooney) younger sister – has her heart set on a Cartier necklace worth US$150 million. She assembles the perfect crew to swipe it, in true Ocean style, from under everyone’s noses, at the party of the year known as the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute benefit, a.k.a the Met Gala.

The magnificent piece of jewellery in question is the Jeanne Toussaint, an actual Cartier creation designed in 1931 for the Maharaja of Nawanagar by Jacques Cartier. The original has been lost to time, but Cartier, the exclusive jewellery partner of the film, has kept the blueprints and fashioned a replica for the silver screen. Cascading with delicious diamonds, it had us wishfully thinking: what if the Ocean’s 8 heist were remade in Asia instead?

We scanned our social calendar for a Met Ball-equivalent event, and sure enough, the Shanghai Fashion Week came up. Why, with a name featuring the absolute favourite number of the Chinese, the organiser would probably roll out the carpet for Ocean’s 8, don’t you think?

The 8 ladies of Ocean’s 8. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

So here are who we think would totally make the cut if it ever enters someone’s mind to make the Asian version of this heist comedy! Remember, you read it here first.

 

1) Vicky Zhao – mastermind

Left: Sandra Bullock in Ocean's 8, and right; Zhao Wei in 2015 Chinese TV show Tiger Mom. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and New Classic Media

Left: Sandra Bullock in Ocean’s 8; right: Zhao Wei in 2015 Chinese TV show Tiger Mom. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and New Classic Media

Sandra Bullock is the Ocean’s 8 mastermind who has taken all the five years and 12 days she’s spent in prison (once even getting herself into solitary confinement for some peace and quiet) to come up with a detailed plan for the ultimate heist.

Vicky Zhao, or Zhao Wei, wears many hats: producer, director, actress, singer and wealthy businesswoman. She rose to It Girl status overnight in the Mandarin-speaking parts of the world with her role as Little Swallow in the 1998 Taiwanese TV show My Fair Princess. But her days of playing a waif are far behind – 30 years of experience have not only earned her acclaim to being one of China’s national idols, but also kungfu moves (see Jingle Ma’s Mulan, 2009), and a whole lot of business savvy. She’s amassed a fortune from making profitable investments, and she owns a wine chateau in Bordeaux.

She’s capable of being bad-ass, too. Last year, she and her husband were slapped with a five-year ban for trading in the mainland for irregularities connected with a takeover bid. With such an all-encompassing resume, the role of mastermind has to be hers.

 

2) Priyanka Chopra – showstopper and necklace-wearer

Left: Anne Hathaway in Ocean's 8, right: Priyanka Chopra at the 2018 Met Gala. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and Popsugar

Left: Anne Hathaway in Ocean’s 8; right: Priyanka Chopra at the 2018 Met Gala. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and Popsugar

Anne Hathaway plays Daphne Kluger, a celebrity whose porcelain bosom and swanlike neck disposes her to be the most suitable candidate to show off the Jeanne Toussaint necklace, and whose vanity disposes her to be easily manipulated into making convenient choices for Debbie’s team.

And who else is better cast as her Asian counterpart than Bollywood star and former Miss World, Priyanka Chopra? In fact, Chopra herself wore a stunning gold-beaded hood to the 2018 Met Gala. Wrote Ralph Lauren on their official Instagram: “This Ralph Lauren creation is completely crafted by hand, with Swarovski crystals, meticulous beadwork, and over 250 hours of embroidery.”

Just swap out those crystals for three kilograms of diamonds, and voila.

 

3) Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying – partner-in-crime

Left: Cate Blanchett in Ocean's 8, right: Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and KapanLagi.com

Left: Cate Blanchett in Ocean’s 8; right: Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and KapanLagi.com

Cate Blanchett plays Lou, Debbie’s sidekick and bestie in Ocean’s 8. She is the first person that comes to mind when Debbie searches for a partner to carry out the heist she has in mind. Lou will do anything and everything to ensure that their plan works out smoothly, including recruiting the essential members to join the team. She’s got your back. And your diamonds.

Chuengcharoensukying, nicknamed “Aokbab”, is a promising newcomer known for her breakout role in Thai heist thriller Bad Genius, where her character single-handedly executes an examination cheating system for her rich classmates. It was her acting debut and the young actress bagged many international awards for her performance.

For the Asian version of Ocean’s 8, we can imagine brainy Aokbab as the perfect accomplice to the operation.

 

4) Kiko Mizuhara – the fashion designer

Left: Helena Bonham Carter in Ocean's 8, right: Kiko Mizuhara. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and Listal.com

Left: Helena Bonham Carter in Ocean’s 8; right: Kiko Mizuhara. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and Listal.com

Helena Bonham Carter plays Rose Weil, a down-on-her-luck fashion designer on the brink of bankruptcy. As her latest runway collection tanks with the critics, the eccentric stylist will put everything on the line to square her score with the taxman.

On top of being one of the most highly sought-after models/actresses in Japan, Kiko Mizuhara is known for her clothing collaborations and designs. Even celebrities like Beyonce and Rihanna have worn her designs. While she isn’t as senior as Carter, Mizuhara has had an earlier start. She’s been modelling since age 12 and has starred in numerous Japanese dramas and movies.

With her eclectic sense of fashion and showmanship, a dress designed by Mizuhara wouldn’t be out of place when paired with an extravagant necklace, at an extravagant fashion show.

 

5) Fann Wong – the gemstone expert

Left: Mindy Kaling in Ocean’s 8; right: Fann Wong in a fashion ad. Credit: Warner Bros. Singapore and Fann Wong’s Instagram

Mindy Kaling plays Amita, a gemstone expert and jewellery maker approached by Debbie to turn the aforementioned Cartier diamond necklace into seven smaller pieces. To complete her task, she infiltrates the Metropolitan Museum of Art as an inconspicuous dish-washing lady.

For this role, we propose that a Singaporean actress take the job, and not just because a Singapore restaurant chain once made the news for dangling a S$3,000 monthly salary for dishwashing. Singapore’s very own A-lister, Fann Wong, is one of the few Singaporeans who “made it” to Hollywood. She played Jackie Chan’s sister in Shanghai Knights (2003). Wong made headlines of her own when she custom-made her own bridal jewellery when she tied the knot with fellow actor Christopher Lee in 2009. Among her accessories valued at S$2.5 million includes a 60-carat diamond – you guessed it – necklace. But the fair-skinned thespian isn’t all about glamour and glitz. For her most recent role in 2016 Taiwanese film Packages from Daddy, she insisted on going bare-faced for her role as a grieving widow.

So take away the baubles, the make-up, and there you have it.

 

6) Jolin Tsai – the hacker

Left: Rihanna in Ocean’s 8; right: Jolin Tsai. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and Pinterest

Behind every clandestine operation is a brilliant IT whiz who will be able to hack any firewall or gain access to security CCTV cameras. This was Rihanna’s role in Ocean’s 8. As Nine Ball, she is tasked to break into the Met’s security system and help cover up the heist.

As a professional hacker so secretive that her real name is classified, Riri trades in her flashy red carpet looks for dreadlocks and low-profile fatigues. We can imagine what such a style transformation will do for Queen of C-pop Jolin Tsai. Fans will squeal in delight when she ditches her outrageous stage costumes to play the part of a nondescript hacker. Sporting dreadlocks too, no less.

Because wearing normal human clothing is considered far-out for style chameleons like Rihanna and Tsai.

 

7) Kristal Tin – soccer mum with a dark secret

Left: Sarah Paulson in Ocean's 8, and right: Kristal Tin. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and hkheadline.com

Left: Sarah Paulson in Ocean’s 8; right: Kristal Tin. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and hkheadline.com


Sarah Paulson plays Tammy, a suburban mum and profiteer who (temporarily) leaves her children to join the elite team of badasses. Her job? To infiltrate Vogue as one of the Met Gala planners.

Like Paulson, acclaimed Hong Kong TVB actress Kristal Tin has the same Stepford Wife-ish demeanour. If you’ve watched Tin’s movies and dramas over the past 20-something years, you’d know that she’s adept at playing good guy, tragic guy, heartless guy, and especially the bad guy.

In fact, she appears to be so cool and intimidating, it was reported that one of her drama co-stars was too scared to even greet her on set. Now that’s one heist robber you don’t want to cross.

 

8) Park Bo Young – the street thief 

Left: Awkwafina in Ocean's 8, right: Park Bo Young. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and Soompi

Left: Awkwafina in Ocean’s 8; right: Park Bo Young. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment and Soompi

Awkwafina plays Constance, an artful pickpocket who uses sleight of hand techniques to lure unsuspecting victims to get close enough to her. She’s the one who gets the necklace off Daphne Kluger’s neck without the latter even realising when it went missing.

While Korean actress Park Bo Young appears too refined to be a street rat, her small face and innocent appearance could belie her cunning and deceit. As the lead in the hit Korean drama Strong Girl Bong-soon, her title character is a young sweet thing with superhuman strength and the proclivity for lying through her teeth.

Thanks to her supple, cherubic looks, Park could perfectly conceal, or get away with any cutpursing tricks up her sleeves… Time to apply those daily face masks, people!

 

Ocean’s 8 Poster (Credit: InCinemas.sg)

Released 11 years after the final film of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Trilogy, Ocean’s 8 could be the most epic celebrity-packed movie of the century. On top of starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, and rapper-comedian Awkwafina, there is an impressive slew of celebrity cameos to watch out for. James Corden is in it too, as the intrepid insurance fraud investigator.

See if you can spot Anna Wintour, Alexander Wang, Kim Kardashian, Serena Williams, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenne, Olivia Munn, Katie Holmes, Gigi Hadid, Zayn Malik, Zac Posen and many more bigwigs as the camera pans the scenes in the Met Gala.

And that’s just part of the fun. As with the previous instalments in the Ocean’s franchise, you can expect nothing but professional precision as the skills of each thief are put to the test. In particular, watch out for Rihanna’s and Anne Hathaway’s performances as they execute perfect comedic timing.

Ocean’s 8 opens on June 14, 2018.

 

Sources: IMDB, Soompi, WikipediaInCinemas.sg, Pinterest, Fann Wong’s InstagramThe New York Times, Vogue, The Straits Times, Popsugar, Weekender, Scmp, Jayne Stars

 

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