Vin Diesel has confirmed that Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren are returning for Fast & Furious 9. With each passing film, the Fast & Furious franchise has only gotten bigger in terms of its cast. Fast Five famously added Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to the mix, and each installment since then has featured a big-name actor playing its villain. In the case of Furious Seven antagonist Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the character even (somewhat controversially) evolved into more of an antihero for 2017’s The Fate of the Furious. He’s now set to co-headline next month’s spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw, with Johnson’s Luke Hobbs.
Hobbs & Shaw will also feature an appearance by Mirren as Shaw’s mother, Magdalene, who joined the franchise in Fate of the Furious. Theron also made her Fast & Furious debut in that movie as the villainous Cipher, a cyberterrorist who managed to avoid being captured after Dom (Diesel) and the others foiled her evil plans. Now, there’s confirmation that both are coming back for the next mainline entry in the series.
Earlier today, Diesel took to his Instagram account to announce that Fast & Furious 9 has now begun its third week of production. He also revealed that Mirren and Theron are back for the film and teased other “surprises” in the future.
While it was reported that Theron could end up reprising her role as Cipher in Hobbs & Shaw early on during the film’s development, the spinoff ultimately elected to go with a brand-new villain (Idris Elba as the super-soldier Brixton) instead. More recently, it came to light that Universal is exploring the idea of a women-led spinoff centered around Cipher. It’s possible that the new plan is for Cipher to serve as the overarching threat is not only Fast & Furious 9, but also another as-yet undecided film in the series (be it Fast & Furious 10 or a future spinoff). Either way, it makes sense to bring Cipher back; the character killed Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky) – the mother of Dom’s child – is Fate of the Furious, so it’s fair to say that she and Dom have some unfinished business to settle.
As for Mirren: Theron’s fellow Oscar-winner was a self-confessed Fast & Furious fan even before she joined the franchise, and she clearly enjoyed her experience enough on the last film to commit to appearing in not only Hobbs & Shaw but also Fast & Furious 9. Mirren did say that she wanted to drive if she reprised her role as Magdalene, so audiences may yet get to see her behind the wheel in this movie. Plus, with Johnson and Statham both passing on Fast & Furious 9, she will only help to better strengthen the connection between the next two Fast films.