Furious 7 is in the record books for April box office openings, and the upcoming Fast & Furious 8 has been confirmed as both the start of a new trilogy, and the first time the franchise will take place on the East Coast, set within the urban jungle of NYC.
As the Fast & Furious franchise continues to earn status as THE big (non-superhero) action franchise of the 21st century, it seems that the biggest Hollywood talent wants to be involved (Helen Mirren, looking at you…). But in addition to new talent, the increased scope and popularity of the franchise also means that players from its more modest past can comeback in a big way. Such is the nature of a rumor about Fast & Furious 8 that we’re hearing today.
The last time we saw Mendes’ character was in a mid-credits scene during Fast Five, in which Agent Fuentes makes contact with Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) after his first run-in with the F&F crew. It was Fuentes who put Hobbs onto the fact that Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) was still alive, pulling jobs for Owen Shaw in London.
Since her character is clearly still in the mix, it’s not a huge surprise to hear RUMOR that Mendes will be back – though the way Mayimbe phrases it does seem strange; does the next installment really hinge so heavily on whether or not Mendes participates? As this franchise nears a 1 billion box office payout (even with the loss of a headlining star) it seems unlikely that so much could hinge on one actress.
WARNING – SPOILERS for Furious 7 Below!
Storywise, having Fuentes back would make a certain amount of sense at this point. After taking down Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) and helping “Mr. Nobody” (Kurt Russell) recover the God’s eye, the F&F crew have graduated from thieves, to outlaws, to outlaw espionage agents, to full-fledged espionage agents.
As Mr. Nobody succinctly explained, they are now playing in a world of ‘shadows,’ (i.e., spies and black-ops agents); with her deep cover experience (seen in 2 Fast 2 Furious), Fuentes is definitely a player in that world.
The one awkward hangup of having the character return onscreen is of course her connection to Brian (Paul Walker), who was her love interest in the second film. Then again, considering how Dominic Toretto has mastered his love triangle with Letty and Elena (Elsa Pataky), maybe Brian doesn’t have a problem at all!
In all seriousness, though: after some quick banter with Roman (Tyrese) and Tej (Ludacris) to clear the air of the past, Agent Fuentes would fall right in step with the franchise’s new tone and direction.
Furious 7 is in theaters. We’ll keep you posted on Fast & Furious 8‘s development.