The Sting Paul Newman and Robert Redford from the classic 1973 movie. (Photo by Screen Archives/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Ocean's Twelve Could Have Starred Paul Newman And Robert Redford
In the early days of the development of “Ocean's Twelve,” before screenwriter George Nolfi came on board to write it, “Ocean’s Eleven” screenwriter Ted Griffin was thinking about where the Ocean gang could go from the first movie. It led him to propose a big idea that would have introduced the fathers of George Clooney's Danny Ocean and Brad Pitt's Rusty Ryan.
Danny and Rusty’s dads were to be played by a pair of stars that led one of the most beloved con artist films of all time, “The Sting.” On the Script Apart podcast, Griffin looked back at his early ideas for the sequel and remembered the notion of making a third collaboration with Paul Newman and Robert Redford.
He said, “You had George and Brad having an espresso in some square in Europe and having a conversation similar to the one they have at Musso and Frank's, like, ‘What, you think we need one more?’ and Brad puts up two fingers. ‘Two more.’ George says, ‘Who do you have in mind?’ And Brad points, and you see, crossing the square towards them, Paul Newman and Robert Redford.”
As for why it didn't happen, Griffin said that “[S]omeone involved in the movie had a very bad relationship with one of those two men, and told me, ‘Nah, it's not going to work out.’” Perhaps it was for the best, as the matches between the two pairs of actors were uncanny, but putting a fine point on it might have been too self-congratulatory.