[SPOILERS for The Fate of the Furious ahead.]
The Fate of the Furious just featured Charlize Theron's Cipher as the main villain, but she may be coming back for more. As the face of high-tech terrorism, Cipher's ability to not only take control of vehicles but also gather dangerous assets and find leverage on almost anyone, made her a formidable opponent in the Fast & Furious series' eighth film. Even with an elaborate plan though, things did not pan out the way Cipher had hoped - but as she managed to escape near the end of the film, her return seems all but guaranteed.
Following the events of The Fate of the Furious, it stands to reason that the franchise's heroes will be hunting Cipher in either Fast & Furious 9 and/or 10. However, with Universal now reportedly moving forward with a Fast & Furious spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, Fast & Furious 9 might not by the next time that audiences see Cipher again.
Variety is reporting that not only will the first Fast & Furious spinoff see Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Statham) team up, but the reason behind them joining forces may be to track down Cipher. This is far from a guarantee at this point however, with Variety stating that since the project is so new and doesn't have a script, this could change and Theron has yet to agree to be part of it.
Hunting down Cipher could prove to be a natural fit for the spinoff, if that is the direction it ultimately goes. Shaw made it very clear in Fate of the Furious that his reasoning for joining the Fast heroes was to hunt down the woman that put his brother in harm's way. Hobbs' motivations for coming after Cipher are less immediately apparent, especially with him vowing to stay home for a while to be with his daughter.
Cipher is in hiding post-Fate of the Furious and after making so many enemies, that is probably a smart move. Whatever reasons Hobbs and Shaw have for going after her once again, using her as a villain on the run could help change the DNA of the franchise once more. Johnson and Statham are bonafide action stars and this could be a chance for Universal to do a different genre of film within the Fast & Furious brand.
A spy film featuring Hobbs and Shaw on the hunt for Cipher where they are funded with gadgets from Kurt Russell's Mr. Nobody, would admittedly be a nice change of pace for the franchise. Whether or not they take a different approach remains to be seen, as it could very just be a smaller version of what has come before. But, with a significant amount of star power already being eyed, that will hopefully not be the case.
- The Fate of the Furious (2017) release date: Apr 14, 2017