Fast & Furious 8 - the eighth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise overall and the first following Paul Walker's sendoff in Furious 7 - is currently in production, under the direction of one F. Gary Gray (The Negotiator, Straight Outta Compton). The Fast 8 production has been jumping around from country to country, with Cuba, Iceland, and Cleveland among the locations where filming has taken place thus far - something that has been documented through a series of official set videos released on a weekly (or a semi-weekly) basis through the Fast & Furious social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram alike.
Whereas Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6 were like heist movies set in the Fast & Furious universe, the revenge thriller storyline of Furious 7 planted the foundation for the franchise to move next into the globe-trotting spy thriller genre - which it appears to be doing with Fast 8. It's fitting, then, that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as U.S. government Agent Hobbs is playing a more substantial role in Fast 8 than he did in Furious 7 (an installment where The Rock's role was reduced in part due to scheduling issues) - as evidenced by The Rock's prominence throughout Fast 8's in-production marketing push.
Case in point: The Rock has posted another photo of himself in character as Hobbs, this time on the Fast 8 set in Iceland. Have a look, below:
Back for Fast 8 are new players from Furious 7 - Jason Statham (as Deckard Shaw), Natalie Emmanuel (as Ramsey), and Kurt Russell (as "Mr. Nobody") - along with the series' staples Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, in addition to "The Rock". New cast additions for Fast 8 include Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones), as well as Scott Eastwood (The Longest Ride) and Charlize Theron as the film's antagonist: a character known as Cypher.
Gibson commented on the decision to bring Theron onboard for Fast 8 during his interview with ET (where Gibson also confirmed that he will appear in both Fast 8 and Transformers: The Last Knight in 2017):
"What we pride [ourselves in] in The Fast and Furious [franchise] is a very diversified cast that's translating domestically and internationally in a major way. We have bits and pieces of power women in it, but we needed to bring it up a notch."
The Fast & Furious franchise has grown from being a modestly successful genre franchise in the early 2000s to the billion-dollar behemoth it is today, thanks in no small part to the franchise's ongoing commitment to mixing things up - not only in terms of genre but, as Gibson notes, in terms of its cast (and its choice of directors too), with regard to race, nationality and gender. Theron isn't the only Oscar-winning starlet who will make an appearance in Fast 8 either, as it's been confirmed by Dame Helen Mirren herself that the latter is also playing a role in the next Fast & Furious film. Here is to hoping that Theron's Fast 8 villain, Mirren's mystery character, and the actual film live up to the hype surrounding them, too.
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.
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