While promoting his then-latest film in October, George Clooney told journalists that “the whole gang” would be back for “Ocean’s Twelve,” the sequel to 2001’s “Ocean Eleven” that he produced and starred in. Unfortunately, it seems that at least one of the actors that was a part of the first film will not be making the trip overseas for the next big heist. According to FilmJerk.com sources, the role of Yen – the Chinese acrobat that Shaobo Qin played in the original – is now being recast.
Since hearing this from several sources this past week, we have since verified that casting documents, which are sent to actors’ agents in order to set up auditions with suitable clients, have now been distributed for the role.
The start of filming is now confirmed to be April, which was pushed back a month after an injury to co-star Brad Pitt on the “Troy” set. In between “Troy” and “Twelve,” Pitt will be filming “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” according to a Fox publicist, with it “starting shooting in Los Angeles soon…[the film] may come to New York City in late February or early March to shoot some scenes.”
The casting notes yield no new plot details about the sequel, which is said to focus on three bank heists in Europe. The character of Yen is described as being in his 20s, and “a Chinese acrobat/contortionist character that is part of Danny Ocean’s (George Clooney’s) crew. The actor must be able to speak Chinese fluently and English with a Chinese accent, as well as must be an accomplished contortionist who can perform acrobatic/contortion movements similar to those seen in the first film.”
In the original film, Yen hurt his hand in preparation for the heist and, after being snuck inside the vault by his fellow “Robin Hoods,” was almost further harmed by an entry bomb set by Clooney’s Ocean and Matt Damon’s Linus Caldwell.
Having made his motion picture debut in “Eleven,” Qin is a member of the internationally acclaimed Peking Acrobats. As of this story being posted, FilmJerk.com was not able to get comment from producers on why the role was recast.
Locations for the film are said to include Paris, Rome and Amsterdam. Greg Dean Schmitz of Greg’s Previews at Yahoo! Movies describes the plot of the sequel as: “Danny Ocean (Clooney), reignited flame Tess (Julia Roberts) and the rest of a band of thieves and con men (some returning and some new), team up for another three huge heists, but this time they’re in three different locations…Meanwhile, casino owner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), whom Ocean and crew ripped off in Las Vegas, is hot on their tail, looking for revenge.”
Speaking about the sequel in September, Clooney related that after the first film opened, “everyone came back and started talking and we went: ’Okay, we had a big hit.’ So it immediately became these big negotiations and stuff. Then, we all sat in a room and said, `Look, let’s do it for 5 per cent less, and then, we can say we’re there because we want to be there,’ and so, we all said: `OK, let’s do it that way.'”
Executive Producers: Bruce Berman, John Hardy
Producers: Jerry Weintraub, Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Casting Director: Debra Zane
Start Date: April 2004
Production Company: Oceans 12, LLC