Charlize Theron already made a name for herself as a butt-kicking wheelwoman in Mad Max: Fury Road, and now she’s getting back in the driver’s seat for the latest installment in the never-ending Fast & Furious franchise, Fast 8.
We already knew Theron was in talks to take on a role as a new character in the upcoming eighth chapter of the blockbuster movie series, and now Deadline reports those rumors have been confirmed. While details of her role haven’t been yet been revealed, Variety has previously reported she’d be a new villain stirring up trouble for the film’s high-speed heroes. An Oscar winner, Theron provides another high-profile boost to the already star-studded series. Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and Kurt Russell have all done the same by joining the ensemble cast in recent years.
Theron provided one of the standout performances of last year’s Fury Road as the tough-as-nails Imperator Furiosa, whose command of the film’s War Rig was matched only by her skill with a rifle (and occasionally, a wrench). There’s no word on whether her Fast 8 character will have a similar skill set, but given the franchise’s affinity for fast cars and explosive action, it certainly seems like pitch-perfect casting.
In joining the cast of Fast 8, Theron will be reunited with director F. Gary Gray, with whom she worked on yet another high-octane action film, 2003’s remake of The Italian Job. (Here’s hoping for the return of the supercharged Mini Cooper.) Most recently, Gray helmed the box office hit Straight Outta Compton.
Fast 8 is expected to kick off a new trilogy of sequels that will bring back regular cast members Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Elsa Pataky, and Johnson. Statham and Russell are also expected to reprise their roles from Furious 7. Diesel recently announced the release dates for the next three films in the series, with a new movie arriving every other year through 2021. Fast 8 is currently scheduled to premiere April 14, 2017, followed by the ninth chapter of the series on April 19, 2019, and the tenth installment on April 2, 2021.
Filming is expected to begin on Fast 8 next month, with shooting in both New York City and Atlanta, Georgia. Rumors suggest that some filming could occur in Russia and Iceland as well.
Updated 4/7/16 by Stephanie Topacio Long: This article has been updated with new details about Theron’s involvement in the project.