The first of the trilogy, Ocean’s Eleven, was a remake of the 1960 classic Ocean’s 11. Starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean, key members of the Rat Pack also featured, including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.
As part of a scene in Ocean’s Eleven, real-life successful teen actors were invited to play themselves. With Rusty Ryan teaching them poker, actors Topher Grace, Barry Watson, Holly Marie Combs, Joshua Jackson and Shane West all starred as themselves. At the time, each was involved in popular teen-oriented shows on air.
Actor Vincent Cassel who played the Night Fox in Ocean’s Twelve was involved in a scene where he danced through beams of intricate roving lasers. As a real-life practitioner of Brazilian martial art capoeira, Cassel pulled off one of the most visually impressive scenes of the trilogy with ease.
Despite a cameo appearance in Ocean’s Twelve, Bruce Willis was originally slated for the role of Danny Ocean in place of George Clooney. However, due to prior filming commitments, Willis was unable to take the part.
Shaobo Yen who plays acrobat The Amazing Yen has only ever featured on screen as part of the Ocean’s Trilogy. Being a full-time actor, to date, his only film credits include the Ocean’s franchise. He is a veteran member of the acclaimed Peking Acrobats troupe.
A special screening of Ocean’s Eleven was arranged at the Incirlink NATO Base in Turkey by producer Jerry Weintraub. The producer, alongside key cast members, made the trip to Turkey, only hours after the Los Angeles premiere. There they met soldiers wounded in the war in Afghanistan. Cast members who made the trip included George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and Andy Garcia.
While filming in Las Vegas, the cast members spent considerable time gambling at casinos. Rumour has it that George Clooney lost 25 consecutive hands of blackjack in one sitting!