The Fast & Furious franchise has certainly come a long way. Over the course of eight films, they’ve managed to transition from an underground racing franchise to a spy action popcorn franchise with enough explosions in it to make Michael Bay jealous. It’s also quietly grown to be one of the most diverse film franchises around. However, it is a bit lacking on the female front.
Sure, the franchise has Letty and Ramsay, but honestly, Letty’s the only female character these days actually doing anything apart from acting as arm candy or spouting the occasional one-liner. This is something that hasn't gone unnoticed by star Michelle Rodriguez, and she’s taken to Instagram to make her grievances noticed.
While (ironically) promoting the Fate of the Furious digital release, Rodriguez seemed to threaten to step back from the franchise should this problem not be remedied.
“F8 is out digitally today, I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one. Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise. It's been a good ride & Im [sic] grateful for the opportunity the fans & studio have provided over the years... One Love”
Ouch. She sure seems to be calling out the studio on this one. While I do agree the franchise can afford to do more with the ladies of the series (who generally are relegated to the background), I’d like to think that this isn’t the first time the studio is hearing of this grievance from her. If this is the first time she’s bringing it up, it’s in bad taste to throw them under bus like that right off the bat. However, if this is just the latest in her trying to get the studio to act, I'd say it's a bit more acceptable if she's actually trying to create change in the franchise.
Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray heard her statement, and in response to it, while speaking with Business Insider, he said:
"Here's the thing, I'm the new guy and I thought with The Fate of the Furious, as it relates to women, I thought there was a strong representation of women in the movie when you bring on what I thought was one of the strongest antagonists in Charlize Theron. And then you have Helen Mirren, who has a cameo that's strong. I can't speak for Michelle, she has a very specific point of view and I can't take anything away from that, but I would like to think that with The Fate of the Furious specifically, I can't speak to the other films, I thought the combination of female characters was pretty strong."
We’ll have to wait and see if Universal has anything to say about this, and if they’ll take Rodriguez up on rounding out the female characters in future films, or if this'll lead to an unceremonious departure from Rodriguez.
What do you think of this? Do you agree that they should do a bit more with the ladies of the series? Let us know your thoughts down below!