The Fate of the Furious is well past the $1 billion mark and now two more movies are set to arrive in the next couple of years. With such colossal earnings up for grabs, some would call it ludacris if a key cast member threatened to leave the franchise, but one of them is doing just that.
With concerns on how the franchise is treating it's female cast, Fast veteran Michelle Rodrigruez took to Instagram with an ultimatum Vin Diesel better take seriously:
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 & I'm grateful for the opportunity the fans & studio have provided over the years... One Love
Michelle Rodriguez has being an integral part of The Fast and the Furious since its inception, so seeing her leave would take away one of the franchise's most essential players.
On the other hand, Rodriguez's remarks that the Fast franchise is not showing love to its lead women is valid. The Fast and the Furious is a male-centric franchise, with heavy emphasis on its male characters and motivations. While over the years the franchise has geared its focus more towards family than masculinity, Rodriguez's concerns shouldn't be glanced over. Michelle expressed her sentiment before when she spoke with Entertainment Weekly:
I’m a complete, sheer, utter feminist. On day one, I [changed] the character [Letty] from being something that I could not do in front of millions of people into a character that I’m actually proud of, but at the end of the day, what message are we sending out there for women? It does weigh heavy on my head — especially in the male-dominated environment that I work in.
What's Really Going On Behind The Scenes?
The Fast and the Furious started off as a street-racing movie with a plot centered on stealing DVD players. Since then it has become Universal's prime money maker, becoming its most profitable franchise. Though now the Fast crew are jumping off airplanes and destroying submarines with handheld torpedoes, it has been a long journey for the original crew who now consist of only Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster.
The casting of Charlize Theron to F8 added more female leads to the franchise, but even the action star's screen presence wasn't enough to balance out the male-dominated movie. While it's not entirely a matter of who got more screen time, what seems to be the issue at hand is that many of the female characters bring nothing to the franchise but a body for men to gaze at. In a franchise that's getting seeing by billions of people, the leading women are represented as mere sex objects and heavily dependent of men.
Sure, some might say this is what the franchise is grounded on, but we are no longer living in 2001. As much as we love seeing Vin Diesel and the Rock macho their way through concrete and criminals, we'd also like to see Helen Mirren kick some ass as well.
What do you think? Should the franchise switch gears? Let me know in the comments!
(Source: Instagram, EW)