The Fast and Furious franchise could lose its female lead. Michelle Rodriguez, who plays Letty Ortiz in the street-racing adventure series, threatened on her social media account Tuesday that her ride may be over unless producers do something to give the women time to shine.
“F8 is out digitally today, I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one,” she wrote on Instagram. “Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise.
While the franchise has introduced more women throughout the years, there has always been something off about their roles. The last movie alone, for instance, saw the participation of Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, and Nathalie Emmanuel in pivotal roles, and yet, GQ notes that those roles were “distressingly one-note.” In Emmanuel’s case, she plays genius hacker Ramsey, her main story has so far been relegated to a push-and-pull love triangle between Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris’ characters.
The poor representation of women in the billion-dollar franchise has apparently been bothering Rodriguez for quite some time and it was just now that she figured out what power she has to challenge the status quo.
“At the end of the day, the only leverage I have as an individual is my participation,” she said. “That’s the only leverage I ever use with anything.”
This is not the first time Rodriguez has lamented the treatment of female cast onscreen. Back in May, she also revealed to Entertainment Weekly her frustrations with the ways women interacted with each other in the Fast installments.
“It’s very rare that they even look at each other,” the actress said. “I’ve been making movies with Jordana [Brewster], who plays the sister of Dom Toretto, for 16 years and I can count on one hand how many lines I’ve had to her. I think that’s pathetic and it’s lack of creativity.”
Her departure is far from a sure thing. But there are at least two more Fast & Furious movies set for release, which will make for a total of 10 when it’s all said and done. Surely, producers can find more for the women to do, and possibly more women in general, over the last two.
Fast and Furious 9 is set for release in April of 2019.