On the first day, there was 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, and Vin Diesel saw that it was good. Eighteen years later, The Rock muscled his way into the Fast & Furious limelight and spearheaded Hobbs and Shaw, the first official spin-off of the main franchise. He, too, saw that it was good (critics and audiences, meanwhile, were somewhat more divided). Now, the Fast Family is once again set to expand even more. And this time, it involves Charlize Theron’s villainous Cipher.
According to Variety, Vin Diesel himself has spilled the beans on the next planned detour in the wildly successful muscle car blockbuster series. After her introduction in The Fate of the Furious and her subsequent Hannibal Lector-like appearance in F9, writers are apparently hard at work on a full-blown Cipher spin-off.
No other details are provided, but this sounds like good news for anyone who found Theron’s talents to be somewhat wasted in these movies while relegated to glowering at computer screens and typing really fast on keyboards.
More so than any ongoing franchise (with the possible exception of the MCU), Fast and Furious has always been an exercise in managing egos. From rumors about certain stars dictating how often they get punched during hand-to-hand fights to somewhat more public spats, the real-life drama has almost seemed to match the soap opera-like antics that the Fast Family experiences on the big screen. That’s why it’s pretty noteworthy that the news regarding this Cipher movie comes straight from Diesel’s mouth. After all, it doesn’t seem like much of a coincidence that neither The Rock nor Jason Statham are featured prominently in F9 after temporarily taking over the spotlight all on their own (although if you know your F&F history, a fun F9 mid-credits cameo echoes another cameo from Tokyo Drift that similarly hinted at a potential easing of tensions). This Cipher project, however, clearly has Diesel’s full support.
Even more importantly, this would also seem to further validate Michelle Rodriguez’s recent calls for more (and better) female representation within the Fast universe. It’s not every day that such a major star threatens to walk out on a franchise in such a public manner, but give credit where credit is due, as her pleas seem to have had its intended effect. Surprisingly, F9 features the first time in the entire series that Rodriguez’s Letty and Jordana Brewster’s Mia actually interact with each other in any real, meaningful way, and that only happened thanks to Rodriguez speaking up about it. Hopefully, further fleshing out Theron’s character will continue this upward trend.
In any case, we’ll be sure to bring you more news regarding this Cipher spin-off as it comes. F9 is currently in theaters.
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