Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez Begin Filming for Fast & Furious 9: 'It Feels Like a Miracle'
Dom and Letty are back!
“Wow, wow, wow, wow. Can you believe it, Letty? Can you believe it?” Diesel said, calling Rodriguez, 40, by her character’s name.
The actress shook her head and grinned at the camera as she said, “Nine. Nine!”
As camera crews walked by them on the film set, Diesel expressed his thanks to those who helped make the ninth film in the franchise a reality.
“We just completed our first day. It feels like a miracle. One hard-earned, but it feels like we’re just so grateful,” he said. “We’re grateful to you, Universal. We’re grateful for our whole team. Incredible crew, incredible cast, and most importantly we’re so grateful to you, world, that has adopted this franchise.”
He added, “Can you believe it? It’s so awesome. We’re so blessed and we love you so much.”
Jordana Brewster, who reprises her role as Mia Toretto, commented on the post with various heart emojis. Meadow Walker, the daughter of the late actor Paul Walker, also commented with hearts, while Ludacris left several film emojis.
Tyrese Gibson is also returning in the role of Roman Pearce, while John Cena confirmed earlier this month on Twitter that he is joining the franchise.
“For nearly 20 years, the Fast Franchise has entertained fans and created some of the biggest cinematic moments in history. It’s an incredible honor to join this franchise and this family,” he wrote while retweeting a story by Deadline.
Fast & Furious 9 likely does seem like a miracle for many of the cast members after their friend and costar Walker died in 2013. The franchise continued with 2015’s Furious 7 and 2017’s The Fate of the Furious.
Rodriguez threatened to walk away in June 2017, calling for a female writer to work on the next film “or I just might have to say goodbye,” she wrote on Instagram at the time.
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But while at the Bloomberg Equality Summit in London in May, the actress revealed Universal Pictures agreed with her request and hired a female writer.
“Yeah, I’m gonna do 9,” Rodriguez confirmed. “Donna [Langley, Chairman of Universal Pictures] came on board, the woman came on board at the studio, and agreed to have that female voice on board so the guys aren’t basically interpreting that female voice on paper. ‘Cause it’s annoying, I rewrite all my stuff! I’m tired of being a writer and an actress, you know? It’s kind of cool that I had that freedom, but it’s frivolous.”
Rodriguez went more in-depth in her call for a female writer, pointing out that in the 16 years she’s been a part of the franchise, she’s rarely had scenes with the few other women. Gal Gadot, Elsa Pataky, Jordana Brewster, Charlize Theron and Nathalie Emmanuel have been some of the actresses to take on the female roles over the franchise, though not all in the same film.
“I felt like there wasn’t enough of a female voice in the franchise. I can count with two hands how many times I spoke to my female colleagues,” she explained. “Like Jordana, who played the sister. I’ve been in the franchise for 16 years, and I can count on both hands how many times we’ve actually had a conversation on screen, and I thought that was pathetic. And I said if I’m coming back, I really want there to be a female writer to give it a female voice, and finally, they showed me some love.”
Fast & Furious 9 is slated for release May 2020.