The latest installment in the still-revving “Fast and Furious” franchise (the Fast-iverse? we really do need a better name for this one), “The Fate of the Furious,” is now available via digital release, and star Michelle Rodriguez is celebrating in a surprising manner: by asking the series to do better by its female stars.
In a new Instagram post (via Deadline), Rodriguez writes, “I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one. Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise. It’s been a good ride & Im grateful for the opportunity the fans & studio have provided over the years… One Love.”
Rodriguez’s character, Letty, has been the most enduring female star of the franchise during its sixteen-year run, first appearing in 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious” before being killed off (well, not really) in 2009’s “Fast & Furious.” She — shockingly!! — reemerged in “Fast Five” via photograph, rejoining the series for “Fast & Furious 6,” then continuing on through the rest of the series’ current iterations. Letty has gotten the bulk of the interesting female-facing storylines of the series, and in “The Fate of the Furious,” she even turned into something of a de facto leader when her husband Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) unexpectedly abandoned the group.
But the actress isn’t wrong about the franchise’s lack of love for its female stars, including supporting characters like Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster), Gisele Yashar (Gal Gadot), and Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky), who seem to mainly exist to round out the storylines of the films’ male characters, often as love interests who occasionally come along for the ride.
While Rodriguez doesn’t get into specifics, she might also be directly referring to “Fate,” which boasted a female baddie in Charlize Theron’s Cipher, though one that was oddly underwritten and hardly packed the kind of ass-kicking punch Theron delivered in “Mad Max: Fury Road.” While the franchise’s decision to cast a woman as the ultimate villain was initially inspiring, Cipher fell flat, and the film’s insistence on setting her up for some kind of evil-doing return didn’t generate much excitement.
Check out her Instagram post below.