Brett Ratner to finally make his "black Ocean's Eleven"...starring Ben Stiller
Some years back, a script called Trump Heist was bouncing around Hollywood, pitched as an African-American ensemble comedy about a bunch of dudes—including Eddie Murphy, Chris Tucker, Chris Rock, and Dave Chappelle—plotting to rob Donald Trump. Naturally, it was tagged as the “black Ocean’s Eleven.” Naturally, it was attached to Brett Ratner, because Ratner is for the streets. Unfortunately, it never got made, even though Ratner still liked to bring the script up from time to time, mostly to remind people that one of its authors, Ted Griffin, originally wrote Ocean’s Eleven for Ratner to direct, which is supposed to prove something, we think.
Anyway, it seems as though Trump Heist is finally getting made this November—only it’s gone through some significant changes. Most importantly, Ratner decided back in February that Eddie Murphy’s role would be “perfect” for Ben Stiller, which is the sort of wild casting leap that we thought only happened in trenchant Hollywood satires. Stiller will “play the overworked manager of a luxury building who, along with other staff, lost their pensions to a Bernie Madoff-like Wall Street crook.” (Donald Trump, victim of his own increasingly cartoonish image, is no longer the villain.) Now renamed Tower Heist, the movie finds Stiller leading a group of other blue-collar cohorts in “the ultimate heist,” planning an elaborate robbery of the Madoff figure’s penthouse apartment.
So just so we're all up to speed here: Rather than a play on Ocean’s Eleven whose selling point is that it gathers some of America’s favorite black comedians in one film, it’s now a play on Ocean’s Eleven whose selling point is that it stars Ben Stiller, which means it “has a lot of heart to go with the humor,” and Owen Wilson will probably be in it somewhere. (Even more promisingly, the script has already been through no less than eight screenwriters by now, so you know it’s good.)