Michelle Rodriguez doesn’t take any shit, and she has used her clout to put her stamp on the future of the Fast & Furious franchise. In June 2017, we reported that Rodriguez was considering an exit from the franchise if the female characters didn’t get a larger role. It’s not an unfair criticism! While Rodriguez’ Letty has been a good character and there have been other assorted good female roles, they typically take a backseat to the men of the series, which is a little ridiculous after nine films.
Thankfully, Rodriguez leveraged her participation into getting a female writer on board for Fast & Furious 9. Bloomberg reports that Rodriguez secured a female writer to join the production, although there’s no word yet on who that writer might be. Per Bloomberg:
“I felt like there was not enough of a female voice in the franchise,” Rodriguez said on Thursday at the Bloomberg Future of Equality Summit in London. “You should evolve with the times, not just pander to certain demographics that are stuck” in the past.
She’s absolutely right. The Fast & Furious franchise doesn’t appeal solely to men, and one of the hallmarks of the series has been its willingness to change. This was a series that started out about low-level crooks who steal DVD players and now it’s basically Universal Pictures’ superhero franchise. So if it’s going to be a key part of the studio’s strategy moving forward, and there are going to be female characters, shouldn’t there be a woman providing a voice behind the scenes? It’s not enough to simply have Tough ChicksTM. They should be fully formed characters, or at least have the same level of pathos that their male co-stars get.
Fast & Furious 9 doesn’t have a release date, but production is expected to begin this year.