Although its release is just under a year away, there has been enough about Fast & Furious 8 in the news lately to keep fans’ interest piqued. A set video from Iceland and an even more explosive set video from Cleveland have given a glimpse at what to expect from the eighth movie in the Fast & Furious franchise, and more details have been revealed about Charlize Theron’s role in the movie as the first image was released of her in character as Cipher.
The addition of Charlize Theron sparked some serious interest after her role as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road. With an already sizable cast in place, however, it didn’t seem like fans could expect much more in the way of big-name additions to Fast 8. If there’s one thing that can be expected of the Fast & Furious franchise, though, it’s that it will continue to go big, and now another big-name actress has been added to the mix.
That actress is Helen Mirren, who confirmed her addition to the movie in an interview with Elle. While most of the interview focused on Mirren’s upcoming movie Eye in the Sky, Mirren also offhandedly mentioned her involvement in Fast 8 and what motivated her to want to be in it (having previously expressed her interest in appearing in a Fast & Furious movie back in 2015):
“[Eye in the Sky] fits in very, very well with what I want to be doing. I want to be making film and theater, but film is particularly relevant. I like it to be serious. Of course, having said that I’m about to do Fast and Furious 8. But that’s for the fun of it. So maybe that’s what I want as well, some fun and some relevant, serious, important movies.”
When the interviewer followed up on that comment and asked Mirren if she was confirmed to be in Fast 8, Mirren replied, “Yes, I am.” She was then asked if she is a fan of cars, and in answering that question she gave a little more background on how her involvement in Fast 8 came to be:
“Well, yes. I’ve always rather loved driving. I said, ‘I’ll be in [Fast 8], but only if I’m allowed to drive if I do drive in it.’ But we’ll see. We’ll see how it transpires. Film is a wonderful thing and it can be so many different things. I don’t want to turn my back on any of the different ways movies can be. I love the movies. I love going to the films. I like very serious films, I love foreign films, and I love big, fun movies–as long as they’re well made and they’ve got good scripts. That’s the most important thing.”
While Mirren has a long and impressive acting resume, action fans might best remember her for her role as Victoria Winslow in RED and RED 2. While critics in general were less enthusiastic about RED 2 than its predecessor (Screen Rant‘s review calls it “an adequate but not stellar follow-up“), Mirren put in an impressive performance for both movies and proved that she can do action just as well as she can do drama. With that being the case, her addition to the Fast 8 cast is a promising one and hopefully a sign that the franchise will still be going strong in its eighth outing.
Fast 8 opens in U.S. theaters on April 17th, 2017, followed by Fast and Furious 9 on April 19th, 2019, and Fast and Furious 10 on April 2nd, 2021.