Michelle Rodriguez Returning for Fast & Furious 9 After Producers Agree to Add Female Writer

The Fast and the Furious franchise launched in 2001 and has seen a number of cast members come and go. The first sequel was famously absent of many of the original film's major characters, only for future sequels to see various characters return while also debuting new members of the team. Actress Michelle Rodriguez first return to the franchise for Fast & Furious, skipped the next film, but returned for Fast 6, having since cemented herself as a core component of the ensemble. Rodriguez's involvement in the upcoming ninth installment in the series has been tied to the production hiring more female filmmakers, with Bloomberg reporting that by adding a female writer to the film, Rodriguez will appear in the new installment.

“I felt like there was not enough of a female voice in the franchise,” Rodriguez shared 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.

While it was clearly important for a female filmmaker to get involved in the production, the actress previously hinted that it was also important for the female characters to be better represented.

“I don’t know if I’m coming back. I have to read the script first. Once I read the script, I’ll know,” Rodriguez shared with Vanity Fair. “When I read the script—and I hope that it’s inclusive—then I’ll agree to come back or not."

The actress jokingly explained that, having spent so much of her career in action films, she wanted a change from the male-dominated time she spent on sets.

"My energy is completely directed toward the feminine right now and supporting women," Rodriguez added. "I’ve spent most of my life shooting guns, and hanging out with the boys, and watching them scratch their balls, and smelling protein-mixed farts. And now I’m feeling the poetry and the beauty and the sensuality of women, and the power we bring together. So they need to show more love to the women. I don’t know which direction it’s going to go. But I know that I’m headed in that direction. We’ll see if that all matches.”

The upcoming Fast & Furious film will have two fewer male characters, at least, with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson confirming neither he nor Jason Statham would appear in the upcoming film.

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Fans can see Johnson and Statham in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw on July 26th. Fast & Furious 9 is set to open on April 10, 2020.

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