Michelle Rodriguez recently made headlines by publicly criticizing the way women were being used in the popular Fast and the Furious franchise. Now Charlize Theron, who joined the most recent entry in the series, has weighed in with her thoughts on the matter. Theron is unequivocal in her support of Rodriguez when it comes to her argument that women in the series need to be shown more love. According to Theron...
Yeah, I mean, I feel it's super valid. This is somebody who has been with this franchise for a really long time. And I can personally say I am a fan of the franchise because of her. She's incredible. She's incredible. And she's the heart of that whole franchise.
The conversation started last month when Michelle Rodriguez took to social media in a post that started out looking like it was a simple promotion for the release of The Fate of the Furious on Blu-Ray, but turned out to be a declaration that she may decide to say goodbye to the franchise if the next entry didn't show more love to the women. With the departure of Jordana Brewster, which at least appeared to be for plot reasons due to the loss of Paul Walker, Rodriguez was left as the only woman on the team of drivers, and the newest film was clearly designed to be about Vin Diesel, The Rock, and Jason Statham and not really anybody else.
Charlize Theron was added to the franchise as the new villain Cipher, but based on her comments on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live Theron doesn't think that her presence was enough to fix the issue. The Fate of the Furious only had one scene where Theron and Michelle Rodriguez were even in the same room at the same time. For the majority of the film, Theron's character was isolated from everybody else in the story except Vin Diesel.
The role of women in the franchise will likely take a significant hit if Charlize Theron herself doesn't return for the next movie. While the actress has said that she loves everybody at Universal, the studio behind the franchise, and that conversations will happen, it's clear that means that she's not currently locked in to coming back. If she doesn't come back for some reason, then that means there's one less woman in the spotlight. In addition to making Michelle Rodriguez a bigger part of Fast and Furious 9, the studio could look at creating a larger role for Nathalie Emmanuel or even Helen Mirren. There are certainly options. We'll have to wait and see what happens.
When the women of the Fast and the Furious have been given time to shine they've done a great job overall. Hopefully, this push to give them more to do will be heard and the next script will let the women show more of what they can do. Fast and Furious 9 is set for release in April of 2019.