Fast and Furious 9 is the latest movie in one of the biggest franchises of this generation. However, despite its prominent financial success, the series is not without obvious flaws. Most notably, the films are primarily led by men. There are a few women here and there, but they’re always secondary to the males onscreen.
Michelle Rodriguez, who plays Letty in the series, is intent on changing that, though. She’s been advocating for more representation both on and offscreen for years and even threatened not to return if things didn’t change.
Thankfully, Rodriguez’s ultimatum worked. Not only will she be returning for the next installment of the franchise, but the production has reportedly landed a female writer. This may not seem like a big win in the grand scheme of things, but it is an important step in the right direction for women throughout Hollywood.
The Fast and Furious movies have always been very racially diverse, but have lacked significant female characters in all eight of the films up until this point. A female writer will hopefully change that by bringing more nuance to the women shown onscreen.
Rodriguez’s defiant stance on this key issue was a very bold one that obviously initiated a great deal of change at a high level. In the future, it’ll be interesting to see if more females in the industry follow suit and threaten to hold out if more diversity’s not added behind the scenes. This may not be achievable for up-and-comers, but established actresses hold a great deal of leverage on set.
Women should always be advocating for other women, but it would also help a great deal if men could stand up for them as well. Rodriguez holds a lot of clout within the franchise, but not as much as Vin Diesel or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. After all, equality helps everyone.
Diverse voices in production lead to better films and a wider range of audiences and Rodriguez should be proud of the change she helped inspire. Though it remains to be seen if her stance inspires others, it was certainly a big step in the right direction for the world of cinema.
Fast and Furious 9 is set to begin filming this spring with a release date scheduled for May 22nd, 2020.