“West Side Story” Oscar winner Rita Moreno is officially joining the ensemble cast for “Fast X,” as Diesel confirmed on Instagram. “It’s been my dream forever to work with Rita Moreno, and the fact that she’s here playing my grandmother makes my soul smile,” Diesel said in a video alongside Moreno and longtime co-star Michelle Rodriguez. “I’m so blessed.”
Moreno responds, “You know what, I think I was getting…I think my old age was waiting for you to invite me. Isn’t that nice?”
Rodriguez, who plays Diesel’s wife in the car-centric action series, adds, “Rita Moreno in the house, baby!”
“Fast X” is currently filming in London. Moreno marks the fourth Oscar-winning actress to join the film, with Diesel revealing Brie Larson joined the film in an undisclosed role, plus Academy Award winners Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron reprising their respective characters.
Jason Momoa is rumored to be playing the villain opposite franchise mainstays Diesel, Rodriguez, Sung Kang, Ludacris, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, and Nathalie Emmanuel, plus Cardi B is returning after her “F9” cameo.
“Fast X” kicks off the two-part finale for the 20-plus-year-old franchise. Justin Lin was set to direct the latest installment but parted ways due to creative differences. Lin is still a producer on the film.
Production was reported to be losing upwards of $1 million a day amid the search for a new director, with Diesel allegedly being tasked to find Lin’s replacement before landing “Transporter” and “Lupin” director Louis Leterrier to take over. According to an insider, Leterrier had been previously in conversations to direct a “Fast” movie due to his “experience and interest” prior to now helming the 10th film.
“Fast and Furious” is the largest franchise in Universal Pictures’ history, with films grossing close to $6 billion theatrically. “Fast X” is set to be released on May 19, 2023.
After returning to “West Side Story” for Steven Spielberg’s 2021 reimagining of the classic musical, Moreno is also in the midst of filming “Eighty for Brady” based on the true story of four friends who travel to the 2017 Super Bowl to see Tom Brady play. “Grace & Frankie” co-stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda also star, along with Sally Field. NFL icon Brady is also producing the road trip comedy.