Is Charlize Theron game to head back into a gasoline-filled world of fast cars and stunts after the hectic shoot of George Miller’s masterful Mad Max: Fury Road? That’s what Universal Pictures is hoping. Per Deadline, the studio has its eye on the Oscar-winning actress to play the villain in the upcoming Fast & Furious sequel Fast 8. Screenwriter Chris Morgan and director F. Gary Gray—hot off the success of Straight Outta Compton—are keen to introduce a main female villain to the franchise with this eighth installment, said to be a “juicy” role, and they’re aiming high in the casting.
So, will Theron bite? Her schedule is apparently open, but it depends on whether she sparks to the material/franchise or not. She worked with Gray previously on The Italian Job, but the Fast & Furious movies aren’t exactly known for their complex female characters, opting instead to use them as plot devices, love interests, or inspiration fuel for the testosterone-filled ensemble. So I suppose it depends on whether the series has turned a corner, and whether Theron is even interested in the franchise in the first place.
The script is not yet complete, but production is set to begin later this year with Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, and Michelle Rodriguez expected to return alongside other members of the regular ensemble. “Family” is the earnest theme of this cartoony action series, and so I expect Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson will be back as well. The original plan was to set Kurt Russell up as the Fast 8 Big Bad with the ending of Furious 7, but the untimely death of Paul Walker in the midst of production shifted the priorities on that film to a tribute to the franchise’s star.
One of the various locations for Fast 8 will be New York City, marking a change of pace for the series, and I’m curious to see where this female villain fits into the overall story. Whether Theron signs on or not, here’s hoping the character marks a three-dimensional addition to the franchise’s ensemble.