One of Hollywood’s most consistently lucrative franchises, “Fast and Furious” is expanding this summer with its first official spinoff, “Hobbs and Shaw.” While that film’s promotion schedule kept recurring stars Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham from appearing in the upcoming “Fast & Furious 9,” the sequel will certainly not be lacking for star power. In a new video posted from the set, Vin Diesel confirms that both Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren are returning for the film.
“Week three, ‘Fast Nine’ here on set. We got a lot of the original cast here, including Oscar winners Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron. And a few new surprises,” said the star in an Instagram video from the film’s London set.
2017’s “The Fate of the Furious” saw Theron playing Cipher, a cyberterrorist who blackmails Diesel’s Dom Toretto. Her ambiguous ending led fans to speculate over whether she’d return for more high speed action. In that same film, Mirren appeared in a cameo as Magdalene Shaw, mother to Jason Statham and Luke Evans’ characters. She’ll also return for a larger role in “Hobbs and Shaw.”
The addition of big Hollywood names to the film’s latest sequel is hardly surprising. The franchise has stayed relevant in part through its ability to consistently work new movie stars into the fold. Dwayne Johnson did not join the series until “Fast Five,” and Jason Statham first appeared in “Fast & Furious 6.”
In addition to Theron’s villain, “Fast & Furious 9” will add some star power on the hero side as well. John Cena is joining the franchise, as the brand continues to cement its reputation as the pipeline between wrestling success and Hollywood stardom.
Even without Johnson and Statham, it’s unlikely that the new cast will experience growing pains. The still-chugging along series has pivoted many times, with recent movies sharing little in common with the street racing themes of the original film. But as long as they keep delivering speed and fury, it seems like fans will keep showing up. And as long as that happens, the biggest movie stars are going to want in.
The currently-untitled “Fast & Furious 9” is being directed by Justin Lin from a script by Daniel Casey. Universal Pictures is scheduled to release the film on May 22, 2020.