‘Ocean’s Eleven’: Don Cheadle Is Uncredited for His Role Due to a Contentious Salary and Credit Dispute With Producers

Steven Soderbergh directed Ocean’s Eleven, a 2001 film starring some of Hollywood’s best-known names at the time, including Don Cheadle. The movie is a remake of a 1960 movie of the same name starring Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. It follows criminal Danny Ocean and his desire to plan a heist of simultaneous robberies of casinos with his friends. He recruits a number of criminals, experts, and others to make sure that the plans goes down without a hitch.

The 2001 version of the story starred George Clooney in the lead role along with a host of other major celebrities including Brad Pitt, Bernie Mac, Elliot Gould, Matt Damon, Casey Affleck, Shaobo Qin, Eddie Jemison, Julia Roberts, and Scott Caan. While Cheadle played a notable role in the film, however, his name does not appear in the credits due to disputes behind the scenes.

Every star in the film took a major pay cut

(L-R) Andy Garcia, Scott Caan, Don Cheadle and George Clooney of 'Ocean's Eleven'
(L-R) Andy Garcia, Scott Caan, Don Cheadle and George Clooney of ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ | Richard Lewis/FilmMagic

Each star in the movie Ocean’s Eleven agreed to take pay cuts in order to appear in the movie. Soderbergh even took this a step further during salary negotiations for Ocean’s Twelve with the goal to make the sequel cost the same amount as the first movie.

With the pay cuts in place, Soderbergh managed to make the movie with a budget of $85 million. He was even allowed to get some of the Tiffany jewels on loan, something the famous company rarely does.

Opening weekend, the film made $38 million, making it the top box office movie of that weekend. Worldwide, Ocean’s Eleven grossed more than $450 million. The subsequent sequels also performed well. The Ocean’s trilogy even led to a spinoff called Ocean’s 8, featuring an all-female cast.

Don Cheadle does not appear in the ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ credits

While Don Cheadle plays an important supporting role in Ocean’s Eleven his name is left out of the credits. There were a few behind-the-scenes negotiations that fell through, leading Cheadle to request his name not be put in the credits. This was not the first time this happened to the actor — Cheadle was also left out of the credits in Rush Hour 2

Some believe that it was a simple request to be paid more than the production was willing to pay each actor. However, according to WhatCulture, the reason that Cheadle’s name is left off of the credits is because of where he wanted his name to appear.

Because of the importance of the role, Cheadle thought his name should get top billing alongside Clooney, Damon, and Pitt. When this didn’t happen, Cheadle requested that his name be left out entirely. He does receive top billing for his role in Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen

Julia Roberts was given an ‘Introducing’ credit

Another interesting thing about the Ocean’s Eleven credits involves star Julia Roberts. She earned an ‘introducing’ credit even though this was far from her first acting role. Some fans thought that this type of credit being given to Roberts was some type of an inside joke, because director Steven Soderbergh had done these types of joke credits before. However, there was a serious reason for it.

At the time of filming, Roberts had a standard fee of $20 million. Because everyone agreed to take less pay to appear in the film, Roberts had to take an introducing credit so she could be paid less for the role as Danny’s wife Tess Ocean.

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