Charlize Theron’s ‘Fast 8’ Villain Role Might Outdo Her ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Character

Fresh off last year’s success, there is potentially even more waiting for Charlize Theron. Fast 8 will place her in a villain role. Charlize Theron’s Fast 8 character is still unknown except for the fact that she will cause the movie’s main stars some trouble.

Fast 8 begins a new trilogy for the series that began with The Fast and the Furious. After her Mad Max: Fury Road performance, what better way to continue action film success than a role in one of the most notorious action franchises of the 2000s and 2010s? Theron’s career is on course to make her the biggest new female action film star.

Charlize Theron proved she was great in dramatic roles, having made a name for herself in films like Monster, Devil’s Advocate, and North Country. But her action chops have now taken the forefront. The trend is likely to continue, having been cast in the first of what will be a few more Fast & Furious franchise films. Likely, the inspiration for the casting decision could be her ultra-sick performance in last year’s blockbuster action movie Mad Max: Fury Road. Although it was not her first action role, Mad Max really took her over the top, proving without a doubt that Charlize Theron is one of the most versatile actresses out there today.

The momentum is not likely to slow down. Before Fast 8 hits theaters next year, Theron will appear again as Queen Ravenna in the upcoming sequel The Huntsman: Winter’s War. She played the same role in 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman. Besides that, a few more projects are in the works for Theron. They are likely to be big but aren’t action films. Action fans will likely overlook those for a chance to see Theron in a more action heavy brand of cinema, the type that Fast 8 is likely to deliver.

As Deadline reports, Fast 8 director F. Gary Gray and Theron previously worked together on the set of The Italian Job. Theron moves into the series as a new character, joining cast members Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, and others.

Mad Max: Fury Road was a tremendous film for 2015. Although Theron didn’t play the title character, she might as well have. Though Tom Hardy played Max Rockatansky, Theron brought more of the pain in her role as Imperator Furiosa. Earlier in Theron’s career, she played Aeon Flux in a live-action take on the somewhat bizarre animated series from MTV. Although the film didn’t turn out as popular a representation of the character as the animated series, it did give Charlize a chance to show off her moves 10 years before Mad Max: Fury Road would take things to the next level.

F. Gary Gray, also fresh off success in 2015, will direct Fast 8. He hit the box office sweet spot with his biopic on the rise of classic hip hop group N.W.A. Gray’s background in directing music videos for hip-hop and R&B stars made Straight Outta Compton a natural progression. Even though Gray has directed films with intense action, like Set It Off and The Italian Job, Fast 8 will put Gray’s action directing chops in the spotlight.

As Vanity Fair reports, Game of Thrones actor Kristofer Hivju will also join and play some kind of bad guy. Maybe he’ll be working for Charlize Theron.

Fast 8 will start shooting next month and should be ready for release in theaters by April 2017. There’s no telling whether that will leave enough time to stuff enough action sequences in there. Furious 7 made the most money yet for the series. With Theron in there, lending the potential for real emotional storytelling, Fast 8 may stand an even better chance. With Charlize Theron, Fast 8 can either become more story-driven or just heap more action atop the action.

[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]