There is no bad blood or drama between the Fast & Furious family. Last week, F. Gary Gray who directed this year’s record-breaking blockbuster success that is Fate of the Furious has aired his opinion about Michelle Rodriguez’s call for better opportunities for female actors.
Nothing But Love
Last week, in time for the digital release of the new installment of the billion-dollar movie franchise, Rodriguez took the opportunity to encourage the people behind it to give better opportunities to female characters. Vin Diesel who stars and produces the movies have aired his support for his co-star. Recently, Gray also has spoken out about Rodriguez’s controversial post.
“I have nothing but love for Michelle. That is something I imagine she’s addressing with the powers that be. I hope it all really works out for her,” the filmmaker said to EW. He also defended his own movie, Fate of the Furious, which introduced the franchise’s first female villain, Charlize Theron’s Cipher.
“I think with Fate of the Furious in particular, I think we did a pretty damn good job with how we treated the women,” he explained. “Especially given that Charlize Theron, I believe, delivered one of the best performances from an antagonist in the franchise. I got a chance to work with Helen Mirren – who was awesome, she has a great cameo – and Charlize, Michelle, Nathalie Emmanuel. You can’t really speak for each individual character, but I thought there was a strong performance from everyone involved.”
The eighth and most recent movie from the franchise is definitely a step in the right direction. While it does not feature Jordana Brewster’s Mia who is the other female regular character aside from Rodriguez’s Letty, the franchise brought Emmanuel’s Ramsey back. It also gave Mirren a significant cameo.
Of course, Theron’s Cipher is one of the most powerful villains the heroes had to face after eight movies. Rumor has it that the actor is going to come back in the planned (and still unconfirmed) spin-off starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Agent Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw.
Moreover, because Dom was allied with Cipher, the movie gave the supporting cast the spotlight they deserve. Arguably, it were Johnson and Statham who were the stars of the movie.
Even if Rodriguez thinks that Fate of the Furious was an improvement, she clearly thinks that a lot more can be improved. With only two movies left for the current storyline to wrap up, the franchise still has time to shake things up and lead Hollywood’s fight against sexism.
Clearing Out The Drama
Meanwhile, in an interview with Business Insider, the first black filmmaker to make a $1 billion movie also addressed the alleged feud between Diesel and Johnson. Last year, The Rock called out an unnamed male co-star for being unprofessional while working on Fast 8.
The two seems to have kissed and made up, and Gray has admitted that everyone, because of the scale of the movie, was definitely on edge. He, however, did not spill many details about what really transpired on set.
“When you make a movie on this level, with this size, it’s so massive,” he pointed out. “You’re taking about four continents, seven different units, and in some cases being filmed simultaneously. Hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. It’s going to be a challenge. And everyone has their process.”
At the end of the day, they made a record-breaking action movie that grossed $1.163 billion worldwide. The movie is now available on Digital HD and will be released on DVD, Blu-Ray and Ultra HD on July 11.
The follow-up to Fate of the Furious, the still-untitled Fast 9, will be released April 19, 2019, while Fast 10 will land on the big screen on April 2, 2021.
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