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OCEANS 12

Twelve Is The New Eleven
If bringing together an ensemble of the world's biggest movie stars to film Ocean's Eleven seemed as daring and difficult as Danny Ocean's plan to steal $160 million from a Las Vegas casino vault, then reuniting the cast for a sequel – and adding another handful of high-profile actors to the mix – appeared to be nearly impossible. That is, to everyone but Jerry Weintraub.

"Nobody thought we would be able to get this film together,” recalls Weintraub, "because logistically it's very challenging to coordinate a cast of this size and caliber into one 77-day shooting schedule. What made it easier is that they all wanted to come back.”

  "This is truly a group of people who continually try and work together as much as possible,” George Clooney elaborates. "We all have the same philosophy about what we do for a living, which is if we're not enjoying what we do, we're idiots because we're all extremely lucky.

  "Still, it was an incredible thing to try and schedule this many working actors, and somehow Jerry was able to manage it,” Clooney continues. "It doesn't hurt that we all really love him and enjoy his company. Quite honestly, he gets us to show up places simply because he asks us to. He's a master showman and knows exactly what is smart to do and what isn't smart to do. On top of it, he's enormous fun.”

"I once described Jerry as the Pope of Las Vegas,” Brad Pitt says. "I think he's expanded his domain since then.”

Bernie Mac concurs. "I have nothing but respect for Jerry. He deals with only the best, and he's always got your back.”

"For any director, working with Jerry is a dream,” Steven Soderbergh reports. "His story sense, his casting sense and his instincts are very, very good. It would have been impossible to make these two films without him. Jerry's contacts enabled us to exert an amount of control over the locations in Europe that is very difficult to get, and this is in addition to his ability to keep tabs on everything and keep everybody happy.

  "As I said to somebody who asked me to describe Jerry, ‘Well, nobody has ever had to think about whether or not they have met him. Nobody has ever posed the question, Have you met Jerry Weintraub? and gotten the answer I'm not sure. He's just one of those people.' He is really fun to have around, and he is the best producer I have ever seen.”

  Like their admiration for producer extraordinaire Weintraub, the enthusiasm shared by the cast and crew for working with director Soderbergh cannot be overstated. "Steven is a complete original,” Matt Damon marvels. "His work ethic is unlike any I've ever seen.”

"For Steven, every day is shooting and editing and working and figuring things out,” says Clooney, whose role in Ocean's Twelve marks his fourth film with Soderbergh. "To us, at the end of each day it was ‘Well, we wrapped. Let's go get a glass of wine.'”

"Momentum is a huge element to my creativity, so I love the efficiency of Steven's sets,” says Julia Roberts, who received an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Soderbergh's Erin Brockovich. "This is my fourth film with him and there are never days that just drag along, where you get tired and your enthusiasm wanes. Steven is very precise and good at keeping things moving, keeping everyone excited, and he makes you want to achieve your goals with him watching. Part of his efficiency comes from people being happy to serve the work. We're all on the team together.”

When Roberts discovered shortly prior to production that she was pregnant with twins, Soderbergh and screenwriter George Nolfi reworked the script to cleverly incorporate this new development into the story. "Steven changed things around so that it became even more fun for me,” the actress says.  In addition to Soderbergh's considerable talent and passion for filmmaking, he

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