The Fast and Furious 8 cast will include a new villain this time, and probably a very different one from what you’ve seen before. Up to this point, many of the villains in the series have been straight forward and often cliched. 2 Fast 2 Furious, for example, was one of the most cliched films in the series, with a villain who was your typical unlikable gang leader, mirroring Gone in 60 Seconds.
Series star Vin Diesel recently shared a photo of Charlize Theron, an actress whose ability to act has been on display in several feature films. She has risen from a supporting actor in films like The Devil’s Advocate and The Italian Job to being a lead you tend to root for, like in Mad Max: Fury Road and Hancock.
Being the Fast 8 villain, Charlize Theron’s Cipher will be similar, a kind of villain you might find yourself rooting for by accident. This was revealed in an interview with series composer Brian Tyler.
“It’s like a siren kind of thing. There’s no question the havoc and villainy she brings [but] you’re attracted to it. There’s something where you can kind of see yourself in this villain that makes it more disturbing and, at the same time, more interesting. It’s the sympathetic villains, in a way, who really get under your skin.
“In a much different way, but like how Anthony Hopkins did Hannibal Lecter, where you like him, but you’re like, ‘Wait, why am I doing that? I shouldn’t be rooting for this person.’ She has that ability to do that. She’s just a fantastic actor.”
Another example that mirrors the supposed Fast 8 villain’s “sympathetic” style is Tom Hiddleston’s Loki from Thor. For the first half of the movie, you find yourself wondering why he’s the villain. He was the one who made logical sense, while Thor was ready to start a war. It wasn’t until later in the film that you realized what he was really planning, and by then you started realizing who the hero really was if the title didn’t give it away.
Vin Diesel was the original villain in the series and arguably sympathetic himself.
Fast 8 will also see the return of the all-star Furious 7 cast, including Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, and Tyrese Gibson. We will also see the return of Eva Mendes, who played Brian O’Conner’s love interest in 2 Fast 2 Furious. A possible addition might be Scott Eastwood, who is rumored to be taking over as a new character filling the void left by the late Paul Walker.
Hopefully, Eastwood doesn’t make his entrance talking to an empty chair as a crack at his father’s infamous political antics.
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Charlize Theron isn’t the only surprising addition to the series. In the past, we saw Ja Rule, Ludacris, Zachery Ty Bryan (Home Improvement), UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, and Bow Wow (aka Shad Moss) make appearances. So far, only Ludacris has returned, and Eva Mendes will be a familiar face to his character. Zachery Ty Bryan was kind of a minor villain, but unlike Theron’s Fast 8 character, he was quickly hated as a cocky high school racer.
— The A.V. Club (@TheAVClub) June 10, 2016
It will be interesting to see what Charlize Theron’s Fast 8 villain will do to antagonize Dominic Toretto and his crew, but we know she can handle a race. Tom Hardy can attest to that.
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[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]