by Josh Grossberg
Feb 11, 2004, 10:00 AM PT
As if a cast that included George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac and Don Cheadle wasn't stellar enough, another A-lister has just been brought into the Ocean's Twelve constellation.
Zeta-Jones climbed aboard at the behest of Soderbergh, who's producing the film with Clooney through their Section Eight production house with an assist from producer Jerry Weintraub and Village Roadshow Pictures.
Based on a screenplay by George Nolfi, Ocean's Twelve will again center on Danny Ocean, the smooth-talking con artist played by Clooney, as he masterminds yet another elaborate heist with the help of some extremely talented wiseguys.
This time around, Danny and the crew will take on a new member as they attempt three ambitious jobs in Paris, London and Berlin--all while being hunted by Las Vegas casino owner Terry Benedict (Garcia), whom they ripped off in the first movie. Zeta-Jones will play an agent of an Interpol-type police unit.
"Catherine is just terrific--one of those stars who comes along once in a long while," said Weintraub. "It's not easy to find an actress who can measure up to the star power of this cast, but Catherine will not only hold her own, she'll add a lot to the movie."
Ocean's Twelve will reunite Zeta-Jones with Clooney--the two traded barbs and sparks--in last year's little-seen Coen brothers comedy Intolerable Cruelty.
Zeta-Jones, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her scene-stealing role as Velma Kelly in the 2002 hit musical Chicago, will also make her second screen appearance opposite fellow Academy Award owner Roberts. The two previously starred in America's Sweethearts.
The Welsh-born beauty also had a major part in another Soderbergh ensemble film, 2000's drug drama Traffic, which also starred her husband, Michael Douglas.
News of Zeta-Jones' signing comes just days after the New York Post reported the actress dumped her longtime agent, George Freeman of William Morris, for Bryan Lourd of Creative Artists Agency.
Like its blockbuster predecessor, Ocean's Twelve will hit theaters in time for the holidays; Warner Bros. has scheduled a December release date.
That's around the same time Zeta-Jones is due to pop up on the big screen as a flight attendant opposite Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg's immigrant dramedy Terminal.
And Ocean isn't the only sequel on her docket. Zeta-Jones has also agreed to reprise the role that first brought her fame, trading swords with Antonio Banderas in a sequel to The Mask of Zorro.
Ocean's Twelve also stars Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Carl Reiner and Elliot Gould, all of whom were all in the original, which itself was an update of the 1960 movie starring Rat Packers Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.
Filming on Ocean's Twelve is scheduled to begin in April in Rome before moving on to Paris, Amsterdam, Monte Carlo, Chicago and Las Vegas.