Fast 8 Is Making A Major Change With Its Villain

Fast 8 won't be revving its engines in theaters until next summer, which means there's plenty of time to pop open the hood and retool Universal's franchise before taking it out for another spin. One key component, the film's villain, looks to be undergoing a massive overhaul, as it looks like Dominic Toretto and his crew will be facing down a female antagonist.

While we previously thought Jason Statham's Fast 7 baddie Deckard Shaw would be returning, it appears that early word surrounding F. Gary Grey's sequel would be pegging a "lone female" as the cause of the Fast 8 team's woes. Even more exciting is the fact that Deadline mentioned a candidate the studio has in mind for the role, and it's none other than Academy Award winner / road goddess Charlize Theron, who had previously collaborated with Grey in 2003's The Italian Job. We'll let you settle down after pumping a celebratory fist in the air, as this sounds pretty awesome.

Apparently, trying to be one of the first Hollywood films to shoot in Cuba, or creating the largest explosion in Iceland wasn't enough to keep the blood flowing through Fast 8's veins, and frankly – this is a pretty awesome way of upping the wow factor. Theron can be a cold blooded villain on either side of the spectrum – as she's both camped it up in Snow White and The Huntsman and brought a subtle menace to her award winning turn as Aileen Wuornos in Monster. So playing an as of yet unnamed vehicular bad-ass probably sits right in the sweet spot of the continuum, which is what wowed the crowd in her more heroic role as Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road.

Of course, with every awesome rumor comes a not-so awesome consequence. With all due respect to Charlize Theron, her potential casting as Fast 8's only villain kind of bums us out, as it pretty much means that Helen Mirren's hopes of playing the Shaw family matriarch won't be coming true. Though there is always the possibility that Theron's character could be yet another member of the Shaw brood, possibly Jason Statham's sister, which would open the door for Mirren to come into play in either Fast 9 or Fast 10 as Mother Shaw. Also, it would make the Italian Job reunion all the more inclusive, leaving the ball in F. Gary Grey's court to bring Mark Wahlberg in as the black sheep / good guy of the family in one of the subsequent sequels.

Naturally, a lot of details are unknown at this point, and Charlize Theron's participation is sought after, but not guaranteed. Still, it does sound like a project that's in her wheelhouse, and Theron would be a perfect candidate to raise some hell with Vin Diesel and company. The potential action set-pieces alone are worth pushing for this result. For now, we'll just go back to counting the days until Fast 8's theatrical release on April 14th, 2017.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.