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The Fast & Furious franchise fascinates me. They keep adding amazing new actors -- from Kurt Russell to Charlize Theron -- and finding ways to make them make sense in this universe. You'd never EXPECT to find Helen Mirren in a Fast & Furious movie, for example, yet we know that she's ready to be a major part of Fast 8. We just don't know HOW she factors in. But a new reveal by the Hundred-Foot Journey actress ties her to a crucial figure in the F&F series, and sets up some bad, bad news. Says Mirren:
I had always had a secret hankering to do Fast and Furious, because I love driving cars. Of course, when I finally got my chance, I wasn't driving the bloody car. I was in the back of an ambulance with Jason Statham.
There is so much to unpack in that statement, given to Variety. Where do we begin? It's important that Jason Statham will spend SOME time in the back of an ambulance in Fast 8... seeing as how, the last time we saw him, he was rotting away in a secure cell at the end of Furious 7.
Thanks to Fast 8 co-star Helen Mirren, we know that somehow, Deckard Shaw is getting out of that prison. Not that it's a major spoiler. You don't lock Jason Statham away for very long in your action-heavy franchise. But who will disable him, health-wise, and send him to the back of an ambulance? Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson still want a crack at him. Or maybe new villain Charlize Theron establishes her dominance by taking Shaw out for good?
And then there's the confession that Helen Mirren's mysterious character is WITH Shaw in the ambulance. Could she be playing Shaw's mother? A boss, or business associate? Would they be allowed to accompany an assassin on the way to a hospital? So many questions.
Here's what we know for certain: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, The Rock, Tyrese, Ludacris, Kurt Russell, Charlize Theron, Scott Eastwood and Helen Mirren will be in Fast 8, which is being directed by F. Gary Gray. The sequel opens in theaters on April 14, 2017, and is expected to feature vehicular madness on the streets of New York City, Cuba and Iceland. I kid you not.