Ensemble action blockbusters won't be coming any bigger than The Fate of the Furious as Charlize Theron joins in on the fun as criminal mastermind Cipher, working to divide the once tight crew. Number eight in the franchise, the Universal Pictures production is riding the crest of a wave but, for the main star Vin Diesel, there is greater meaning in the series that works to build on Furious 7's success.
For a picture that includes names like Helen Mirren, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Kurt Russell for good measure, it is Diesel who has been the mainstay next to Michelle Rodriguez. Director F. Gary Gray opened up about the movie that will debut April 14 and outlined the importance of Diesel's dedication to the Dominic Toretto character before and after his late friend Paul Walker's passing.
Showstopper Will Be Worth The Price of Admission: Gary Gray
Talking to USA Today, Gray could not have been more excited to be part of a project of this scope and argues that the stars involved are all in.
"Dom going dark was just a great twist for this saga," outlines the filmmaker. “What (Vin Diesel) has delivered in the way of performance is nothing short of amazing. The chemistry between Vin and Charlize (Theron) is worthy of one of the biggest franchises in history. She’s one of the absolute best antagonists I’ve seen on film."
Yet he gave special mention to Diesel who has been there from the very beginning.
“At every turn, he would consider what would (the late Paul Walker) think about where it’s going," said Gray. "His dedication to this franchise is almost spiritual.”
Mirren Threat A "Beat Up" But Actress Wanted In
During one particular Golden Globes event, Mirren approached Diesel about joining the Fast & Furious franchise and made it known in no uncertain terms. Going so far as to threaten physical violence on the actor, he knew that turning down Mirren was not an option.
“Helen Mirren, the wonderful and amazing Helen Mirren, accosted me at a Golden Globes party and basically threatened to beat me up if she wasn't going to be in one," recalled Diesel. "Having these actors on the films was adding another element and dimension to what some might write off as just another action movie.”
Given her work with a gun on Red and Red 2 alongside Bruce Willis, Diesel would be best advised to follow her lead.