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Letty in The Fate of the Furious

Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty is one of the pillars of the family at the heart of the Fast and Furious franchise, having appeared in five of the films, including the original and 2018’s The Fate of the Furious. But the actress’s time with the franchise looked like it may be running out of gas, based on comments she made about possibly sitting out the next film.

Now that crisis looks to have been averted and Michelle Rodriguez is reportedly returning for Fast & Furious 9. According to Bloomberg, the actress’s return comes after she secured an agreement for a female writer to join the production. There is no word as of yet about whom the female writer joining the franchise’s ninth installment will be, but there will be a female voice contributing to Fast & Furious 9.

After the release of The Fate of the Furious, Michelle Rodriguez expressed a desire for the franchise to start showing more love to its female characters, otherwise she might not return. She later elaborated about her concerns, speaking about her desire to champion female empowerment and the stagnant nature of the Fast & Furious franchise in that regard.

Expressing a desire for the action films to evolve, she cited the fact that the female characters in the films almost never talk to each other in the Fast & Furious movies as one example of the franchise’s problems in this area. While the male characters have real conversations and relationships, Michelle Rodriguez has spent very little time over the course of the series with the other actresses.

So by asking for the next Fast & Furious movie to show more love to women, she wanted to see female characters handled more deftly and with more substance. She also wanted for the women to actually talk to one another in meaningful ways and have real relationships.

Michelle Rodriguez was never adamant that she wouldn’t return, saying that she would wait to see the script and that she expected Vin Diesel to convince her. But she definitely wanted a female voice to be involved to help address her concerns and evolve the franchise. And it seems she got her wish.

The takes no crap actress believes that a movie on the scale of the Fast & Furious franchise has a responsibility to affect positive change, and she used her clout to do just that. Now the franchise can evolve the way she wanted, and hopefully have even better stories and character development and Fast & Furious 9 gets Michelle Rodriguez back as Letty. So it’s a win-win all around.

Alongside Michelle Rodriguez, another original cast member of The Fast and the Furious, Jordana Brewster is returning as Mia Toretto for Fast & Furious 9. Maybe those two franchise OG’s will get some good stuff to do together thanks to this new female writer being brought aboard.

There was also news earlier this year that the franchise has a female-led spinoff in development with three female writers brought aboard to pen it. Perhaps one of those three, Nicole Perlman, Lindsey Beer or Geneva Robertson-Dworet, are the writer helping out with Fast 9.

Fast & Furious 9 doesn’t arrive until May 22, 2020, but you don’t have to wait that long to see the next movie in the high-octane franchise. The first spinoff film, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, races into theaters on August 2. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of that and all the summer’s biggest movies.

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