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The longer a movie franchise goes, the more difficult it becomes to keep things fresh and exciting. The Fast & Furious franchise doesn't have as much trouble with the latter since it revolves around cars performing death-defying stunts that occasionally even push aside the laws of physics, but it still needs to worry about giving moviegoers something new to chew on every couple years. One of the ways The Fate of the Furious is accomplishing this is by bringing in several new actors, including Helen Mirren. Even with all that's been revealed about the eighth Fast & Furious installment through reports, marketing and previews, there's barely been any information about what to expect from Mirren's character, but now we finally know who she'll be playing: the mother of Owen and Deckard Shaw.
Luke Evans was recently interviewed by Yahoo about his turn as Gaston in the Beauty and the Beast remake, and the conversation turned to his time as another villain: Owen Shaw in the Fast & Furious movies. While Evans couldn't say whether his character will ever make a proper return, he did mention that not only does he have a "powerful brother," a.k.a. Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw, but that his mother is also roaming around, and that's who Helen Mirren is playing. Evans didn't provide any specific details about the Shaw matriarch, but this is still welcome information after months of knowing next to nothing about Mirren's involvement.
Even before Helen Mirren had officially been cast in The Fate of the Furious, she had expressed interest in appearing in the franchise, specifically wanting to play a villain. Vin Diesel, who plays Dominic Toretto, was all too willing to bring her abroad, and by June 2016, she was officially cast. However, the biggest details surrounding Mirren's character that have been publicly revealed is that she shot a scene with Jason Statham in the back of an ambulance and there's a photo of her and Diesel close together, suggesting they'll share a scene. Given how Dom was shown in the first The Fate of the Furious trailer to being blackmailed into serving Charlize Theron's Cipher, this could mean that crime runs in the Shaw family and Mirren will indeed be playing a villain, but nothing is confirmed yet.
As far as the Shaw boys go, Owen Shaw has been in a coma since he fell out of a crashing plane in Fast & Furious 6, and he didn't show any signs of improvement when he cameoed in Furious 7. Deckard Shaw, on the other hand, has been in prison since he was defeated by the main protagonists in Furious 7. The Fate of the Furious trailer showed him and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Luke Hobbs in a prison break, and it looks like Deckard will subsequently help figure out why Dom betrayed the gang. Perhaps during this latest adventure he'll reunite with his dear ol' mom.
The Fate of the Furious will race into theaters on April 14.