On the heels of 2015’s Furious 7, one of the fastest movies to reach $1 billion worldwide and the sixth-biggest global title in box-office history, comes the newest chapter in one of the most popular and enduring motion-picture serials of all time: The Fate of the Furious.
As evidenced by last December’s trailer debut of the film—which currently ranks as the biggest ever, with more than 139 million views in the 24 hours after its unveiling in Times Square—audiences’ appetite for tales from the Fast & Furious saga has never been bigger, and the franchise has never been more popular or more global. Although this group has experienced much on the road that has brought them here—as they shot cars out of planes, through skyscrapers and down mountains—the core idea that drives them has never wavered: family.
Now that Dom and Letty are married and Brian and Mia have retired from the game—and the rest of the crew has been exonerated—the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Oscar® winner CHARLIZE THERON) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can’t seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before.
From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, our elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world’s stage…and to bring home the man who made them a family.
For The Fate of the Furious, the first chapter of Universal Pictures’ record-smashing homegrown franchise’s final trilogy, VIN DIESEL as the newly rogue Dominic Toretto is joined by a returning all-star cast…as well as a star-studded array of newcomers to this world.
The players include DWAYNE JOHNSON as Hobbs, the DSS agent who must now rally his people to reboot Dom and prevent global annihilation; MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ as Letty, the streetwise second-in-command whose most personal
mission to date is to bring her husband back from the brink; TYRESE GIBSON as Roman, the fast-talking ladies man who’s never met a situation he can’t charm his way out of; CHRIS “LUDACRIS” BRIDGES as Tej, brilliant tech-tactician and automotive mechanic extraordinaire; JASON STATHAM as Deckard Shaw, a Black Ops assassin now sharing more in common with enemy Dom’s crew than he could have imagined from his super-max prison cell; KURT RUSSELL as Mr. Nobody, the square-jawed fed who operates quid pro quo and outside the law; NATHALIE EMMANUEL as Ramsey, a genius hacker whose invention is wanted by every government and terrorist cell on Earth; and ELSA PATAKY as Elena, a former Rio cop and current DSS agent who must make an impossible choice to save the ones she loves.
In addition to Theron as the enigmatic operative known only as Cipher, the world’s most notorious cyber-terrorist and current Dom romantic interest, the series welcomes SCOTT EASTWOOD as Eric Reisner, Mr. Nobody’s protégé, aka Little Nobody, and Oscar® winner HELEN MIRREN as a woman as mysterious as any Dom has met in his global missions.
The Fate of the Furious is directed by F. GARY GRAY, the filmmaker behind such blockbusters as Straight Outta Compton—the No. 1 musical biopic in the history of cinema—The Italian Job, Be Cool and Friday, and produced by returning producers NEAL H. MORITZ, the godfather of the Fast & Furious series and force behind blockbusters from I Am Legend to the 21 Jump Street series, as well as longtime producer and second-unit director MICHAEL FOTTRELL (Furious 7, Fast Five) and Diesel. Written by series architect and fellow producer CHRIS MORGAN (Fast & Furious series, Wanted), the action-thriller is based on characters created by GARY SCOTT THOMPSON (The Fast and the Furious).
Gray assembles a top-flight creative team that is led by frequent collaborators in the Fast & Furious family, as well as new creative artists who join the seasoned crew. They include director of photography STEPHEN F. WINDON (Furious 7, Fast & Furious 6), production designer BILL BRZESKI (Furious 7, Iron Man 3), editors CHRISTIAN WAGNER (Furious 7, Fast Five) and PAUL RUBELL (Thor, Collateral), costume designer MARLENE STEWART (Oblivion, Tropic Thunder), picture car coordinator The Fate of the Furious—Production Information
DENNIS MCCARTHY (Furious 7, Fast & Furious 6), second unit director SPIRO RAZATOS (Furious 7, Fast & Furious 6) and composer BRIAN TYLER (Furious 7, Fast & Furious). Once again, AMANDA LEWIS (Fast & Furious series) and SAMANTHA VINCENT (Fast & Furious series) serve as executive producers.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Family No More:
Furious 7 proved to be an emotionally charged culmination of the beloved franchise built on speed. Not only were the filmmakers and cast looking to pay homage to the legacy of Paul Walker, who was inarguably the heart of the films, but also to the very best of what The Fast and the Furious sparked in film audiences more than 15 years ago…and continues to do with another generation of fans.
Completing production of the film and then promoting it worldwide was both an exhausting and energizing labor of love for all involved. But with the end of an era came the inevitable questions of whether this was truly the finale of the beloved franchise.
Faced with the decision of whether to continue the saga, producers Neal H. Moritz and Vin Diesel, screenwriter Chris Morgan, Universal Pictures executives and the rest of the cast had to think long and hard about their next step together. The Fast family was in mourning, and, at the time, few could come up with a worthwhile reason to pick up the pieces and resume the collective saga. The outlaws of East Los Angeles’ street racing underground had risen to infamy on the international stage pulling off daring high-stakes heists. While they had lost friends and gained enemies along the way…any new tale would ensure they would remain true to their roots.
Whatever happened, the filmmakers felt they would need to do something completely different if the series were to continue. When it was decided that the franchise still had more riveting stories to share, they opted to throw a curveball into the mix. The new direction would be an explosive turn of events destined to rock the dedicated fan base to its NOS-loving core. Since the beginning, the series’ deep-seated theme of family has been entrenched in every film, and that fundamental tenet would be put to the test.
“I only wanted to continue the saga if we were going to collectively make the best final trilogy for ourselves, for the legacy of our brother Paul, and for Universal, who’s been so supportive over the years,” says Diesel, who has served as a producer on the series since Fast & Furious. “With Furious 7, our focus was to not only make the best film in the saga but to honor what it has represented for almost two decades. The key to this next chapter is to challenge those core themes that have endured, and to do it in a way that is compelling but still entertaining.”
Screenwriter Chris Morgan, who returns for his sixth tour of duty with the franchise, this time joins Moritz, Diesel and Fottrell as producer. For the series architect who charts and crafts the interwoven multi-film story points, this arc would pose his biggest challenge; once Morgan delineated the team’s ideas for the final trilogy, it would be a mind-blowing achievement.
“Recalls Morgan of the tipping point: “The Fate of the Furious is really about the after effects of a profound moment that threatens to shatter everything you believe in. What happens when the central figure of your family, the one who preached the lesson of never turning your back on each other, breaks those rules? What happens if he goes dark and his family has to take him on and stand against him? It’s unique and, at times, a little scary. It’s great drama for the franchise, and it gave us a reason to move forward in a compelling way.”
It was an audacious premise and once Morgan, Moritz and Diesel blocked out the story points, they knew they could blaze down a new road with an original, high-octane tale while still maintaining the outlaw spirit that fans gravitate to time after time.
Remarks longtime franchise producer Moritz: “What always amazes me is how we’re able to develop and maintain that blurred line between good guy and bad guy over the course of this series. We’ve allowed each of our characters, new and old alike, to grow in different directions. We never go into a new chapter with any preconceived notions of what they should do, and let each movie organically grow each of these characters. It has been satisfying to see how many different arenas we can enter and ways we can go with them. That’s part of the fun for the audience: they love this cast of characters but are never sure exactly what’s going to happen with them.”
With each new installment in the series, Moritz and Diesel always want to keep fans on their toes and to allow them to be entertained by the unexpected. Finding a director with the ability to deliver on every level, while retaining the series’ singular voice, has always been a prerequisite. Justin Lin set the groundwork for a memorable four-film run when he reinvigorated the franchise with Tokyo Drift, and James Wan did it with the record setting worldwide box-office juggernaut of Furious 7.
Enter F. Gary Gray, whose versatile filmography includes the critically acclaimed biopic Straight Outta Compton, the thriller The Negotiator, actioner The Italian Job and cult comedy classic Friday, among many others. One will see little similarities among these projects, and that’s the way Gray likes it.
The director admits that he has long gravitated toward material that challenges him. When faced with the tempting offer of taking on one of Universal’s biggest franchises, Gray was intrigued. Still, he dug a little deeper looking for that one thing, that hook, to inspire and push his limits. “Artists dig in more when they feel challenged, and this was a major challenge for me,” he reflects. “I wanted to bring something different to the franchise, and it all starts with the story. This is completely different; it’s nothing we’ve ever experienced in the Fast franchise.”
The Fate of the Furious would allow Gray the opportunity to take a massive tentpole film and bring his singular approach to storytelling, eliciting performances and crafting narrative to deliver an unexpected experience on every level.
He was primed to take the series in a fascinating new direction. Not only did Gray come to the table with innovative ideas to ground the series, he also arrived on set sharing longstanding relationships with many of the Fast cast. The filmmaker had directed Diesel in A Man Apart, Statham and Theron in The Italian Job, and Johnson in Be Cool. Additionally, he knows Gibson and Bridges socially from entertainment industry functions, as well as his early days in the industry, when he directed music videos and TV commercials.
Diesel was very pleased to see the talented filmmaker join the Fast & Furious family. “I knew from A Man Apart what Gary could pull out in terms of a darker character. I knew he would be perfect,” he commends. “Gary is a director who, first and foremost, focuses with exactitude on performance; that’s why we have Oscar®-winning actors in this film. We knew he was going to pay that much-needed attention to the nuances of performance that this chapter would call for.”
Gray knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish when he first met with the producers to discuss The Fate of the Furious’ signature tone and direction. “Dom Toretto is always about family, and with this storyline it’s the absolute opposite of what you expect. I wanted to be a part of delivering not only this different story, but delivering a performance that you’ve never seen from the entire cast. Now we’re able to explore this different realm of emotions with Dom going up against his family.”
Trust No One:
All-Star Cast Returns
Like Diesel, Gray is all about strong character dynamics. The director made the point to do his own research, which translated into revisiting the whole franchise and checking in with the millions of rabid fans around the world who are vocal about their on-screen family…and who have no problem sharing those thoughts on a daily basis on social media. It was an eye-opener for Gray, but it got him more invested in the series and, in turn, deepened his focus to satisfy the savvy audience with his take on the next chapter.
He decided he would give equal time and importance to the small intimate story moments as he did with the big hyped up action beats. For Fast & Furious fans, most of those emotional beats almost always begin and end with the Dom-Letty love story.
Michelle Rodriguez, who originated the role of straight-shooting Letty Ortiz in 2001, has been a fierce proponent of keeping the couple’s relationship as grounded and real as possible, especially with its tumultuous history. That relationship has been placed in jeopardy time and time again, most jarringly in Fast & Furious with her supposed death. But even in her absence, Letty’s presence was just as strong, culminating in her on-screen resurrection as the coda of Fast Five and reconnection with Dom and her family of friends in Fast & Furious 6.
Their unconventional love story is a testament to the multi-layered films’ staying power for close to two decades. “A woman’s most powerful gift is love,” reflects Rodriguez. “What’s beautiful about Dom is that he only sees love’s strength, and that’s a testament to his character. It takes a certain type of guy to accept a really strong woman. But isn’t that the beauty of love? You’re so connected to that one person that the only thing that matters is what you both know to be true. What Vin and I try to convey with Letty and Dom is that, ultimately, the true message is this idealistic love drives people to fight for each other, to stay together tough times and to believe in each other.”
After surviving the machinations that kept them separated for years, The Fate of the Furious finds Dom and Letty reunited and enjoying the laid back beauty of Cuba. But it is all about to disappear when a routine mission explodes and Dom betrays everyone he’s loved…and has loved him.
Faced with incontrovertible evidence that Dom has joined forces with a cyber-terrorist, seeds of doubt sprout within the team and begin to splinter the now fragile bonds. Despite everything, Letty is the lone holdout who believes in Dom. A lifetime of love that has triumphed and evolved cannot be denied. “Letty is moving on faith for the entire movie,” reflects Rodriguez. “She knows Dom, she knows how he’s wired and what drives him; this is the toughest thing she’s ever faced. Dom and Letty’s relationship is born of an unconditional love that binds them to one another.”
“The love is so deep between these two,” adds Diesel, “and as bleak as the situation looks, Letty is going to fight for her man…no matter what.”
With seven box-office busting chapters of the Fast franchise under his belt, Moritz feels that the team’s collective approach has given them an unbridled freedom to create revitalizing stories, and that means destroying what fans think they know. “The mythology that we’ve created, not only with each of the characters, but with the different worlds that the Fast franchise touches upon, has allowed us to go in so many different directions—literally and figuratively—with our characters to explore things we never thought we would explore to them. Relationships have been built and then disbanded, and that’s what’s so special about it. We have so many stories, and it’s all about deciding which ones we’re going to tell in each movie.”
Beginning with Fast Five the filmmakers hit their stride by layering in new characters, whether for short or long terms storylines. They brought back franchise favorites Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Sung Kang and GAL GADOT, while introducing new cast members like Dwayne Johnson and Elsa Pataky.
This is also punctuated by Nathalie Emmanuel’s genius hacktivist Ramsey, who created God’s Eye—the prototype tracking device that fueled the Furious 7 plot line—Kurt Russell’s disarming high-level government operative Mr. Nobody. Jason Statham would follow suit with his notorious introduction in the Fast & Furious 6 postscript, which left audiences gasping at the connection to Han’s death in Tokyo Drift, and knowing the stage was set for Furious 7.
With the notion of family turned completely on its head, the filmmakers naturally felt obligated to delve into the unmined territory of several of the series characters’ backgrounds. Audience members caught a rare glimpse of the man behind the trash talking badass when Hobbs’ daughter, Samantha, appeared by his side in the hospital in Furious 7.
Morgan again worked closely with Dwayne Johnson to flesh out additional backstory for elite DSS agent Hobbs, the ultimate lawman whose own strict moral code has grown more flexible…thanks to the détente that he and Dom established years ago. Very few are able to pierce business-only Hobbs’ veneer, but as the team earned his respect and trust, a burgeoning camaraderie grew.
For Hobbs, this is what makes Dom’s actions in this chapter so unforgivable. Blindsided by Dom’s betrayal during a covert mission in Berlin, Hobbs becomes collateral damage and is left to fend for himself. The U.S. government has now turned its back on one of its own, and Hobbs ends up serving his sentence in the same super-max prison where he previously deposited his former nemesis Deckard Shaw. No longer on the right side of the law himself, Hobbs begins to shed those layers that used to define him as the best of the best.
Johnson appreciated the opportunity for character growth that the new chapter gave him, especially the opportunity to spar—verbally and physically—with longtime pal Jason Statham. He explains: “With Hobbs, there are no handcuffs, and I love how he’s been able to pierce the franchise. Since Fast Five, we’ve set up a foundation where he can say anything. Now, the story of this film gave Jason and me great liberty with where to go. We wanted to fully create this Butch-and-Sundance relationship that audiences are going to love. We have two wisecracking, badass guys talking shit to each other, but a bond is forming.”
Always game to up his action quotient, Johnson welcomed the ideas that Morgan and the production team came up with for his character. “When Hobbs must give up his badge, that is a powerful moment. Still, the film puts Hobbs back in a position that is his sweet spot: the space of hunting people down,” Johnson explains. And whether it is jumping out of buildings, off supermax prison catwalks or into frigid waters, Hobbs always get his man. “When you think of gargantuan submarines chasing us, cars being remote controlled and flying out of buildings, those are just two examples of next-level action here. We’re giving fans a second dessert they didn’t even know to expect.”
For his part, Shaw, the laser-focused covert operative who relentlessly pursued Dom and the crew in Furious 7, has been biding his time in the a hidden facility where only the baddest of the bad are tossed. But with the arrival of Hobbs at supermax, the sentence has become a bit more tolerable.
Statham agrees with his fellow star: “Deckard’s always got something up his sleeve, so it’s great to have this continuing conflict with Hobbs. Dwayne and I get the opportunity to play around with this tension, which is a great vehicle for these two who really have this have that oil-and-water thing going on.”
The layers of Shaw’s back-story will also be peeled back to reveal more about the British operative who has his own staunch familial moral code, which eventually builds a begrudging, respect for his prey. Deckard’s younger brother, Owen, played by Welsh actor LUKE EVANS, was introduced in Fast & Furious 6 as the first villain in the series who had the cunning and ability to be considered by Dom and the team as a true adversary. When Deckard last left his little brother, Owen was clinging to life in a hospital…thanks to the revenge of Dom.
For Hobbs and Shaw, Gray wanted to see the pair engage in verbal sparring…as a precursor to the rematch of their explosive fight sequence from Furious 7. The ensuing Hobbs/Shaw no-holds-barred prison-wide brawl in The Fate of the Furious is the result of Mr. Nobody’s ploy to break Hobbs out of supermax. What ensues is another dynamic action sequences that pits former adversaries against each other.
Explains Gray: “Hobbs and Shaw are both prisoners, but they are fighting for very different reasons and that’s what makes this sequence so dynamic. What I love about it is that we showcase two different fighting styles. Jason has this cool, martial-arts, parkour style while Dwayne is just raw strength crushing everything and knocking dudes out. I love the contrast, not only in their motivations, but the contrasts in their styles of fighting. It’s going to be a classic cinema moment.”
Revisiting a character every two years is a luxury that many actors do not get in the film business but for Chris “Ludacris” Bridges who marks his fifth turn as the automotive and tech tactician Tej, it’s a welcome sign when Morgan’s newest script shows up. Gone is the afro and garage coveralls Tej sported when he made his debut as a hustler in Miami’s illegal racing circuit in 2 Fast 2 Furious. These days he’s upgraded his wardrobe, toys and tools of the trade with the best that money can buy.
“At this point I’m so heavily invested with Tej that anytime someone tells me what he should or shouldn’t be doing, I take it personally. I always want him to continue to progress in every movie and not stay the same. So I take it all very seriously, from what he says to how he comes across on the screen. There’s still so much to him that that people don’t know about. The fact he stepped up as the tech-savvy member of the team has been a great transition for him.”
With the return of Nathalie Emmanuel who made her franchise debut in Furious 7 as the brilliant hacker and God’s Eye creator Ramsey, Tej again has his work wife to up his tech skills. The beautiful loner is now a more comfortable part of the team and has settled into her role alongside Tej, and has also built up her tech game now that she has unlimited resources.
But even as Letty is steadfast in her support of Dom, genius hacker Ramsey is the first to openly question where Dom’s loyalty lies. “Ramsey hasn’t had the history with Dom that the rest of the characters have,” reflects Nathalie Emmanuel, who rocketed to fame on Game of Thrones as Missandei. “Although she’s been welcomed into the family, at the same time she is logical. She is all about the zeroes and ones and doing the math to try to figure out from a logical point of view what happened. Also, Ramsey is not necessarily as emotional as they are, and is the only one that can ask that question ‘Did he go rogue?’”
Tej and Ramsey’s productive partnership has left Roman looking on from the sidelines…wheels turning as he tries to insert himself into the equation. Roman Pearce has consistently been the source of humor to balance out the high-octane action and drama that is the bedrock of the Fast series. No matter the situation, he is the first to eschew authority and speak his mind with his filter-free take on every situation; this always elicits the biggest audience laughs.
For Tyrese Gibson who reprises his role as the flashy Roman—childhood friend of Brian O’Conner who met up with the then-disgraced cop in 2 Fast 2 Furious in Miami—returning to the familiar faces and rhythms of the Fast set was wholeheartedly welcomed. Even the film’s fractured storyline dynamic couldn’t put a damper on Roman’s enthusiasm.
During the days when Diesel wasn’t in front of the screen with his teammates, Gibson’s remedy to keep his Fast family connected was to erect an outdoor lounge area. There, fellow cast mates and guests could hang to listen to music, grab a bite to eat, watch television, celebrate a birthday or the end of grueling work week; Gibson’s lounge was open to everyone.
It’s simple, cites Gibson of the off screen interactions: “The Fast cast pride ourselves on not just promoting the film’s family, but actually being a family. Personally, it’s made all the difference in the world in my life; I’m just giving my family a place to relax and hang.” Spanish actress Elsa Pataky is back as Elena Neves, the Rio cop who fell for Dom, then became a fugitive on the lam, in Fast Five. Connecting over their shared losses she walks away from her life in Rio to build a new one with Dom in the Canary Islands. However, their idyllic life collapses with Letty’s return. As devastated as she is, Elena knows that Dom needs to find out the truth about his soul mate.
She slowly rebuilds her life and joins Hobbs at DSS. Still, as resilient as Elena is she makes the decision to leave the agency and put some distance between herself and her complicated history with Dom.
Despite her character’s story arc over the franchise, Pataky is a firm believer that the love Elena shared with Dom forever binds them. “The one true thing about Elena and Dom is that they will always be there for each other. Although they no longer share a romantic love, there is still love, respect and a history that is based on a true friendship. Despite what everyone else sees, Elena, like Letty, knows family is still the most important thing to Dom.”
While Elena’s loyalties will always remain on the side of who she loves…Mr. Nobody’s loyalties still remain to be seen. The iconic performer Kurt Russell—whose character is back from an almost-certain death in the last film—takes great pleasure in the mischievous government spook who keeps everyone guessing.
“Coming in on Furious 7, I wanted to be able to create something that was a little bit different for this franchise,” Russell explains. “You don’t know much about Mr. Nobody, which I thought would be a fun invention for this serial approach. For now, he is proving to be a guy that the gang can trust. I don’t know how long or if that will actually remain, but that’s what is so fun about playing him. He takes everything as it comes and is very flippant about it all.”
Theron, Mirren and Eastwood Join
The filmmakers are always seeking to intertwine the sequences with interesting new characters, storylines and inevitable plot twists that fit into Morgan’s established chronology. The Fate of the Furious continues the tradition of unexpected casting by introducing its audiences to Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad, The Longest Ride), alongside Oscar®-winners Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road, Atomic Blonde) and Helen Mirren (The Queen, The Hundred-Foot Journey), who join the franchise for a ride of a lifetime.
When it came to developing another worthy villain who could make Dom betray his team, the filmmakers had an ace up their sleeves. Namely, the globally popular actress Charlize Theron, whose on screen cred alone would bring a new pedigreed threat to the team, while interweaving more of the “holy #%[email protected]” plot twists that smack of the Fast franchise reveals.
“We’ve always had this idea that we wanted one of our villains to be this amazing woman, and honestly we had our eye on Charlize Theron,” confesses Moritz. “We’ve been talking with her for a number of years about becoming part of the franchise, and when we came up with this idea for what her character could be, we went to her.”
For Theron, being courted to join one the world’s most beloved series was an exciting prospect. Add to that, she knew the role, the series’ first female villain—and perhaps its most lethal—would kick start a cataclysmic shift to the very core of the world the Fast & Furious cast and crew had created.
“What a great place to find yourself in, to not only be offered a great role in one of the greatest franchises ever, but to be the first female villain…that’s a real honor,” shares Theron. “Cipher is the real deal, too. At her core she is completely this rapacious, and that says a lot about a character. As an actor, there is something great about witnessing a character just coming in and taking what she wants…and doing it in a way that’s unexpected.”
Cipher is the ultimate puppet master, a legendary hacker known only by her exploits; it is her keystrokes and binary combinations that have long played an insidious role across the world stage. Her tactics and strategy are explosive and will leaves audiences guessing as they witness her cold and calculated machinations.
“A director wants someone who can not only look at the words on the page, but breathe life into a character, and brings things to it that you’ve never considered,” reflects Gray of one of the series’ newest cast members. “Charlize is amazing; there’s a gravitas and richness to her performance that’s never been seen before in a Fast villain. She’s an Oscar® winner for a reason.”
One of the more unexpected aspects of The Fate of the Furious is the thriller elements that are woven throughout material, which will keep audiences guessing. Placing two alphas like Cipher and Dom in one room will always yield crackling energy, but more so when the chemistry of the actors inhabiting them is just as palpable.
Says Gray of the pairing of Diesel and Theron: “When Cipher teams up with Dom, the chemistry between Vin and Charlize is absolutely electrifying. It was evident from their first scene together and continues to grow throughout this story. It’s definitely something you’d never seen before in this franchise, and I’m proud of that; audiences are going to get everything they want from The Fate of the Furious…and then some.”
Even Diesel, who has inhabited the role of Dom Toretto for almost two decades, was a little giddy to see a new dimension to his alter ego. He admits that he upped his game as an actor by going up against a talent actress who was a kindred spirit; they share an approach to character development.
“When Charlize and I first started working together, she commented on how well I must know Dom. I remember saying ‘I may know Dom but that is before Cipher, before she affects him. I don’t know the Dom that’s coming now,” he adds with a wry laugh, “that was the beginning of what we were about to create. I am so proud of this union. I’ve got to admit, when I watch Charlize and me on screen together, it is so powerful. I’m very proud of our work.”
For the new chapter, Theron’s fellow Academy Award® winner, Dame Helen Mirren, was recruited to portray a pivotal role, one in which her character enters unto an uneasy alliance with Dom. Although she steps in to run interference, any agreements in the underworld are precarious and shift easily; the refined Brit who meets with Dom seems a little too comfortable amidst all the intrigue.
Mirren’s casting in The Fate of the Furious came about after the famed actress met Diesel at an Oscars® party in 2016. Admittedly a touch smitten by her co-star, Mirren discussed her love of driving fast cars and her nephew’s fondness for the Fast franchise. She gained familiarity with the series after their introduction and thought: “Work with Vin, drive a car? That sounds like the perfect job for me.”
Diesel played it cool but was beyond thrilled about his encounter with English royalty and got the ball rolling. He laughs that what Dame Mirren wants, Dame Mirren gets. In the aftermath, Diesel rallied the equally excited troops and got to work. He explains: “In one week’s time, Gary, Chris and I had written her character in. Ironically, her new role was a gift for us. She provided the connective tissue we belatedly realized was needed for our plot. To this day, one of my favorite moments of filming was sharing a scene with Helen Mirren.”
The result is a cocksure player whose steely reserve and intellect belie a deep well of familial protection. For her part, Mirren had no idea what to expect of the role, she was just happy to join the party. “I put my little yearnings out there in the universe, and I was offered a role,” she says with a smile. “I had no idea what to expect, but I would have just done anything. I was so pleased that they pried the script apart and found a little slot for me. It turned out to be a great role. My character is smart, strong and aware of her place in the world. To be my age in a huge action film movie with these guys, you’ve got to up your game if you want to go toe to toe with them; that’s what I wanted to communicate.”
Unfortunately, Mirren’s plum role in the action-thriller didn’t allow for her to get behind the wheel of fast car and drive, but as every Fast fan can attest to: opportunities always present themselves down the road ahead…
No longer the new kid on the block, Mirren’s fellow Brit, Nathalie Emmanuel, handed that mantle over to Scott Eastwood. The performer joins the ensemble as Eric Reisner, aka Little Nobody, protégé to Russell’s Mr. Nobody. Russell returns to the role of the mysterious but easygoing, Belgian beer-lovin’ CIA spook he began with in Furious 7.
As with Russell and Emmanuel, Eastwood easily found his footing among the cast that welcomed him with open arms. However, for both the entire returning team and Eastwood, his joining the ensemble held a much deeper emotional resonance. The actor also shared a close, longtime friendship with Paul Walker, which dates back to 2005 when the pair met on the set of Flags of our Fathers, directed by Scott’s father, Clint Eastwood.
Regardless of where it begins or ends, the importance of family has a crucial significance, one that consistently runs deep with our ensemble cast. Eastwood walks us through his thought process in joining: “Paul was like an older brother to me, so to even consider the role was definitely an emotionally charged decision. At the end of the day, I felt he would have wanted any of his boys to be a part of something that he was so proud of. That’s what made me feel good about the decision and once I got on set, I knew it was the right one.”
The Toretto code has a way of blurring the lines of black and white and punching through the toughest veneer. Even without Dom around, the effect still remains the same.
Once again, another dedicated, by-the-book government agent has entered the fray…confident they are on the right side of the law and can imprison, handle or stop Dom and the team like they would handle any other asset or fugitive. Not the case with undercover cop/FBI agent Brian O’Conner or DSS agent Hobbs, and certainly not the case with the skeptical agent Reisner, newly assigned to lead the team as they go after Dom and Cipher.
Eastwood is pragmatic about Little Nobody’s conversion, which comes about slowly—with some too-close-for-comfort encounters with the team. He says: “Some rules are meant to be broken, especially when you realize that the lines can get blurred between right and wrong. As an actor, you always want to explore human nature and those moral themes.”
Last but certainly not least, Norwegian actor KRISTOFER HIVJU, best known for his role of legendary wildling leader Tormund Giantsbane in HBO’s fantasy mega series Game of Thrones, rounds out the ensemble with his portrayal of Rhodes, Cipher’s brutal second lieutenant. Unfortunately for Rhodes, second-in-commands on the wrong side of the Toretto clan have a bad track record when it comes to crossing Dom…
History in the Making:
Luces, Cámara, Acción en Cuba!
Principal production on The Fate of the Furious began in early spring 2016 with two separate film units filming in divergent countries—Cuba and Iceland. Atlanta, New York City and Cincinnati would also provide backdrops for the all-new global chapter in the series, and units there would capture all the insane action and dramatic moments fans demand.
Lensing in New York was a must for the filmmakers; the city is embedded in Fast DNA. It all started with the 1998 Vibe Magazine article, “Racer X,” which chronicled a street racer in that city’s underground scene. Producer Moritz snapped up the rights and got to work on reworking the premise in Los Angeles, setting the wheels in motion for one of the most beloved franchises in Universal Pictures’ history.
For Diesel, himself a New Yorker, the importance of filming in the Big Apple goes a lot deeper. “Bringing Fast to New York City was always a dream of mine,” he gives. “I always felt there was some poetic justice for our characters to return to New York, where it literally all began with the Vibe magazine article on Dominican street car racing. New York is such a great canvas for this film, and the action that ensues is just so hard to beat. The sequence is going to blow people’s minds.”
The Russia, Cuba and New York settings for the pivotal scenes that play out there were part of the earliest in the development stages of the project; they remained because of the strength of Morgan’s storytelling, particularly for Cuba.
Story wise, the filmmakers always want to maintain that touchstone of the franchise, which is illegal street racing and the underground-tuner culture that embodies it. To continue to honor those roots of racing a quarter mile for pink slips with The Fate of the Furious, they envisioned the Cuban Mile race to jumpstart it all.
So, just what is a Cuban mile? Gray provides an explanation: “The one thing Fast fans are all familiar with is the quarter-mile race. We wanted to introduce something new here and that’s the Cuban mile, which is extremely dangerous—with a lot of sharp turns as you speed in and out of traffic. This race takes you throughout Havana, and there is no stopping. It’s absolutely insane, and that’s how we wanted to amp it up with The Fate of the Furious.”
Cuba’s car culture is so ingrained in the country’s fabric that over the years, the team had long discussed setting one of the films in the island nation. Discussions would always return to the topic, fully knowing that the odds were slim to none they would be able to accomplish the daring feat. That is, until diplomatic relations began to ease up during the Obama administration.
More importantly, Dom’s gear-head affinity for the country is a natural one that made absolute sense for the film. According to Morgan: “Cuba is well known for its car culture. If there is a guy to be immersed in that culture, it’s Dom Toretto. He knows everything about those vintage cars and honors the tradition of maintaining them. The Cuban ingenuity of keeping the cars running with whatever they’ve got—whether lawnmower, tractor, or boat parts—is that spirit, that tuner car spirit, that was just so perfect for Dom and this film.”
Producer Fottrell, who has shepherded four Fast films (2 Fast 2 Furious, Fast & Furious, Fast Five and Furious 7) through production all over the globe, first looked to Washington D.C. attorney RON METZLER and international political advisor RICHARD KLEIN to discuss the realities of trying to mount a shoot in a country with so many unknown variables. The enormity of what was needed to pull it off was not lost on Klein, who had seen firsthand what a Fast production entailed when he orchestrated the high-level discussions that preceded—and allowed cast and crew to film—in Abu Dhabi for Furious 7.
The pair was instrumental in navigating the political landscape in both countries. Multiple exploratory phone conversations and meetings with José Cabañas, Cuba’s Ambassador to the U.S., and officials at the U.S. State Department would follow. There were a very specific set of legal requirements that Fottrell and his team would need to go through with the State Department—and myriad of government agencies—to get permission and licenses to bring cast, crew, equipment and cars into the country…as well as conduct business there.
It was all uncharted territory, as no American production, let alone a massive Hollywood blockbuster, had ever filmed in Cuba. To orchestrate, Fottrell and his team would make several early visits to assess potential locations, infrastructure, crew, talent and equipment…and determine what was even feasible. Thankfully, there was a working template in place for Fottrell—as his teams had shot in comparable locations such as Puerto Rico, Brazil and Mexico; from a physical production standpoint, he knew what would be needed to accomplish it all.
Finally, it was time for studio executives and filmmakers to sit down with top members of President Raul Castro’s government to give them an overview of the team’s production plans. The officials were not familiar with the Fast franchise, but were both inquisitive and gracious during the meeting. The group returned to the U.S. to await the verdict.
When the good news was shared, everyone was gob smacked to learn what the tipping point actually was. Once news that the newest chapter in The Fast and the Furious franchise wanted to film in Havana began to trickle out to younger family, friends and colleagues the excitement level ratcheted up to a level that the government could not ignore.
“Wherever we go the people just tend to embrace us,” remarks Fottrell. “Fast is such a global franchise. From Mexico to Rio de Janeiro to Abu Dhabi and now Cuba, our cast and this franchise continue to break all barriers. It’s such a unifying series, which has the power and reach to open doors around the world.”
“There aren’t many movies that could have done that,” adds Klein. “Cuba is not really a place you think of as integrated into the global movie marketplace, so there was uncertainty to how well known this franchise is. Fortunately, its reputation preceded us, and the Fast films were well known and popular. The themes of friendship, loyalty and cars are so universal that the government side quickly got to a comfort level of wanting to actively help the production.”
Once the process started, it gained momentum but it would take time, months of discussions and preparations—both on the ground in Cuba and in the U.S.—to assess the situation realistically, formulate a plan and, once approved by both governments, lay the foundation for the two-week shoot in April.
The first of the 200 U.S. film crew would arrive in country almost four months prior to filming. As they immersed themselves in everyday Havana life, they worked closely with every part of the government, as well as local crew, residents and businesses in neighborhoods throughout the capital city.
Once filming began, the magnitude of the historic achievement was not lost on anyone. Gray, Diesel, Rodriguez and Theron would kick off principal photography on the streets of Havana, as the first Universal Pictures film to shoot in Cuba since the U.S. embargo was imposed in 1963.
On the heels of President Obama’s historic meeting with President Castro in Havana, filming would begin less than a month later. In the island nation, a crew of both U.S. and Cuban nationals hit the streets to film a sexy, Cuban-style tuner party and full-throttle race sequence. The cast and crew would be met daily by a growing number of curious neighborhood locals, anxious to see Diesel and Rodriguez as they filmed scenes.
For their part, the U.S. crew was equally staggered by their own firsthand look at the finest classic cars Cuba has to offer. They were amazed to lens in this stunning cityscape of vibrant Colonial architecture, the fabled Hotel Nacional and the Malecón—the five-mile stretch of seawall and roadway stretching from Old Havana up to the Vedado neighborhood.
One of the more exciting moments of filming occurred when up-close-and-personal aerials shots were planned. Veteran pilot FRED NORTH, the franchise’s go-to for innovative aerial camera work, coordinated multiple flights over Havana, which culminated as yet another historic moment for the production and Cuba. His flights of bringing the helicopter low and close—and holding it to film the driving action on the streets below while the sound is bouncing off buildings—would mark the first time ever that an American helicopter has flown over Cuban national air space.
Again, the producers looked to Klein to initiate that delicate conversation. Explains the political advisor: “The idea of actually flying a helicopter over Havana for some integral aerial shots came together very quickly. Those first days of filming from the air were remarkable. Everything in Havana stopped. People got out of their cars; they came out on their balconies and stood in the streets. They’d never seen anything like this. It was this magical moment where we knew we were making history.”
The emotion was palpable for many of the local crew and residents who, for the first time in nearly three generations, saw a tangible demonstration of how different their country’s relationship with the U.S. would now be. The American crew couldn’t help but be moved by the heartfelt sentiments surrounding them.
For Gray, Moritz, Diesel, Fottrell, Morgan and their other producers—including franchise stalwart EPs Samantha Vincent of One Race Films and Amanda Lewis of Original Film—to be able to lens a love letter to the beautifully humble country was extraordinarily fulfilling. Gray sums up the whirlwind shooting schedule: “We wanted to make a great opening sequence, but also show Cuba as an amazing country with phenomenal people. There is so much of Havana that you can’t get anywhere else in the world. The city is a standing work of art that is so rich in culture and history. We want to give people around the world an opportunity to experience the Cuba we did.”
Worldwide Action and Vehicles:
Cars from Iceland to Manhattan
The Fast family is not only comprised of the cast in front of the camera, but a host of behind-the-scenes crew, including some who have been a part of the franchise since its inception in 2000.
They include picture car coordinator Dennis McCarthy and second unit director Spiro Razatos, as well as his stunt design team, led by brothers JACK GILL and ANDY GILL—who together have conceptualized and executed some of the most dynamic, mind-boggling, action born from Morgan’s imagination and put to paper.
For extraordinary car-driven action, the filmmakers continuously look to Razatos to deliver bigger, better sequences. The longtime leader of the series’ vehicular action will always push boundaries on what can be accomplished practically and what may be shot in innovative new ways.
For The Fate of the Furious that means literally racing every make and model of cars across a frozen lake in the hinterlands of Iceland…or through the heavily populated and traffic congested streets of New York City.
With close to four weeks of filming on several frozen lakes in some of the Iceland’s remote regions, and then in the city of Reykjavik, the team thrived as they pulled off an intense schedule. They would end up racing as many as 16 vehicles of every stripe, as well as detonating explosives to simulate a surfacing submarine.
The frozen Barents Sea provides the backdrop for the final confrontation between Cipher and Dom as he barrels over the frozen landscape to a nuclear submarine. There, Hobbs and Dom’s crew are ready to drop Dom at the first opportunity.
To ensure filming was both safe and productive, it would take a full team of local crew to assess and manage the snow and ice conditions. There was a steep learning curve, but in the end it paid off with patience and precision execution of the stunts.
For McCarthy, the franchise’s go-to car guru since Tokyo Drift, this chapter posed two very big location-based challenges for very different reasons.
The Iceland location that provides the setting for the daring third-act Russia sequence was extraordinarily remote. With frigid temps that affected everything from vehicle maintenance, performance on ice and the general full throttle paces that Razatos and his team would put the vehicles through as they filmed, the epic cars vs. submarine scene was astonishing.
During preproduction in his Southern California workshop, McCarthy and his team would fully modify a fleet of arctic-ready vehicles and ship them to Iceland. While Dom captained the DODGE “ICE” CHARGER, coming at him in full force is Hobbs…in a modified DODGE “ICE RAM” TRUCK. He is joined by Letty in a RALLY FIGHTER, as well as Little Nobody in a SUBARU WRX. Tej finally gets his own tank with the military RIPSAW, while, as only he can, Roman powers across the tundra in an orange LAMBORGHINI. Leaving the subzero temperatures of Iceland behind, McCarthy and his team would make the trip to Cuba to begin his next challenge. The film’s opening sequence has Dom racing a stripped down junker of a 1953 CHEVY FLEETLINE against a 1956 FORD FAIRLANE, the island’s fastest car.
Whereas environment and demands of filming in adverse conditions plagued Gray in Iceland, for Cuba, the lack of readily available automotive parts or support system meant his team would need to bring in everything to be prepared for every imaginable contingency.
The cars would admittedly take a beating as they were raced throughout Havana. The picture car department would end up transporting in 10 Chevys and seven Fords to prepare for the vehicular carnage that undoubtedly happens on a Fast race sequence.
Remarks McCarthy: “The challenge with Cuba was that we literally couldn’t get anything. We had to really plan ahead and figure out what could possibly go wrong and prepare for it all. As tough as Iceland was, at least there auto-parts stores. For Cuba, we brought in everything from car carriers, a tool truck, box trucks, parts trucks, and trailers, and packed it all up with multiples of everything.”
For access to the fabled local car flavor, McCarthy turned to Cuba’s car king, David Peña. Known around the car-racing circuit simply as McQueen, he would curate the island’s best vintage cars as the setting for the Cuban version of the Fast staple: the tuner Party.
For a diehard car aficionado like McCarthy Cuba was truly a mind-blower. “It’s breathtaking. You walk out to the street, and it feels like you’ve gone through a time machine. Seventy percent of the vehicles are from the ’50s and the ’40s. What’s even more impressive is how these guys have kept them running. I just loved seeing the enthusiasm and genuine excitement from the locals that we were there.”
The mere mention of the film or hearing an American voice prompted excited questions and conversations from Cubans. The excitement was palpable as hundreds of curious residents, tourists and pure fans looked on as filming snaked its way through different neighborhoods. Something as simple as loading picture cars onto the car carriers elicited applause, or a swarm of people wanting to get a closer look, touch a vehicle or take a photo. The addition of Diesel or Rodriguez to the mix guaranteed that the cheering crowd would swell tenfold, electrifying the film set and surrounding streets.
However, for McCarthy, one of the scenes he was most excited about didn’t involve racing cars or death-defying cars stunts. It was the scene in which Hobbs, Shaw and the team are led into a seemingly benign fish-processing plant, which serves as a front for a black-ops site. Angels literally sing as the team walks in their Valhalla, a vast car warehouse reminiscent of one of the memorable final scenes in the Indiana Jones classic Raiders of the Lost Ark as the Ark of the Covenant is tucked away in an endless chasm of crates.
Trying to get the best eye candy on the planet in one place for filming this scene, McCarthy scoured his little black book of private-car owners, dealers, custom houses and manufacturers around the world.
McCarthy quickly learned that the franchise had engendered a bonanza of goodwill over the years, so the Herculean task became more manageable as everyone wanted to showcase their vehicles in the film and were offering up their babies left and right. Even McCarthy and Moritz loaned their prized “children” to the inventory. When all was said done, McCarthy’s team amassed more than $17 million worth of vehicles in the Fast toy shop for several days of filming.
From America’s best—including Dodge, Ford and vintage Chevys—to imports like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Jaguar, Toyota, Subaru, and a one-of-a-kind $2 million Nissan concept car flown in from Japan—to Ducatis, Harley Davidsons and KTM’s Confederate motorcycle, McCarthy and his team had cast and crew marveling at the assemblage of vehicles.
After going lower key in the car department on Furious 7, Gibson was psyched that McCarthy upped Roman’s car game for The Fate of the Furious. “I got the Bentley GT Coupe,” says Gibson. “Two door, white with the burgundy stripes. Then I also have the orange Lamborghini, so I’m very happy. I love my cars.” As a lover of anything fast, the veteran picture car coordinator also peppered the collection with a Ripsaw tank, courtesy of the U.S Department of Defense, Mystic speedboat, a Stryker military buggy, and a MD helicopter, among others.
Once again, the filmmakers looked to veteran production designer Bill Brzeski to create the film’s visual landscape. Brzeski returned to the franchise with an innate working knowledge of the Fast oeuvre—from its stylistic foundation of design and color to its function. All was accomplished to meet the demands of filming, while complementing both story and action.
This shorthand, of sorts, allowed his team the freedom to concentrate on introducing fresh new design elements. Indeed, the film’s unexpected curveball plot allowed them to delve into the darker, moodier themes.
Gray came to the project with a very specific vision for its tone and imagery. There was a constant exchange of ideas that fueled the process throughout pre-production. Factor in the contrast of the film’s diverse settings of Cuba, Russia, New York City, and Berlin and Brzeski had the tools to play.
Although from a design P.O.V., very little was needed to complement the stunning Cuba, Havana is Brzeski’s favorite location to work with. He and the filmmakers were in agreement that Cuba as seen in The Fate of the Furious should be the Cuba they had experienced as guests on the three previous location scouts. They wanted to ensure that the Cuban Mile race would wind its way through the colonial city of Havana and reflect the beauty, generosity and openness with which were welcomed with.
“At the end of the day, you could drop a camera and it would get a great picture in Cuba,” says the designer. “It’s the most fascinating place, both texturally and color-wise, I’ve ever been in my life. It has this decayed decadence that is just beautiful. Our goal was to showcase very specific things to show off the street life and the family life of Havana.”
When it came to a more hands-on approach to production design, the set that ultimately engaged Brzeski the most was Cipher’s lair. The tech-genius-terrorist is always untraceable and always on the undetectable move. Her domain is a Super Jet that remains airborne as long as possible. Theron, who spent the majority of her time inside the set, wanted to make sure it adequately reflected her character while also allowing herself, Diesel, Hivju, and handful of other actors the freedom to incorporate environment into their performance.
Admits the actress of the outcome of her discussions: “This is the first time in my career where I spent this much time talking about a space with the production designer. It was important to me that within this small space, everything told you something about this character…because we know so little about her. So the more Bill and I talked, the more the space started feeling very authentic to the character we created.
“Everything was beautifully designed,” Theron continues. “It was a great space to work in and it lent itself to more possibilities than I ever thought. All the fears I had of this small space ended up being an embarrassment of riches. We had so much to work with on that set.”
Brzeski based his blueprints on Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner, but beyond that he fashioned a hip enclave—replete with muted greys and dark colors accentuated by eclectic artwork. It made for a moody, intellectual type of aesthetic.
The Super Jet was actually comprised of two different sets. The upper-level set consisted of Cipher’s luxe living quarters/armory and her War Room, her base of operations where she can control everything around her. The lower level was made up of the cargo bay, staff quarters and the guts of the aircraft.
On the opposite end of the design spectrum for Brzeski was the supermax prison set. The majority of the filming was housed at a former manufacturing plant just north of Atlanta. The bones of the property had a large-scale rack system used for equipment storage. Brzeski was able to retrofit that existing space to build in a compact, multi-level set with staircases, dozens of cells and a cafeteria. This offered stunt coordinator J.J.
PERRY and fight coordinator JONATHAN EUSEBIO a multitude of options to craft the brawl of all brawls as Hobbs and Shaw go at it…amongst a riot of hardcore supermax lifers.
“It’s always fun for production designers to just take a space that has one purpose and turn it into something completely different,” offers Brzeski. “I constantly see things and rework them in my head. We gave Gary and the stunt team vertical depth to focus the fight action. We built this environment to accommodate what they needed for real, seamless choreography.”
ABOUT THE CAST
A native of New York City, VIN DIESEL (Dominic Toretto/Produced by) has become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after film stars. In addition to his huge box-office success, Diesel is a prominent producer and filmmaker and has been honored with both a hands and footprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre as well as a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood.
Earlier this year, Diesel reprised his role in xXx: Return of Xander Cage. In addition, he will reprise the role of Groot in Walt Disney Pictures’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, set for release this May. Furious 7, which he starred in and produced, grossed more than $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office and is the highest-grossing film in China’s history. In 2013, he starred in and produced the box-office smash hit Fast & Furious 6, which grossed almost $800 million worldwide, as well as Riddick, the third installment in the hit cult-franchise. In 2014, Diesel starred as Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, which was the biggest film of the year. In 2015, Diesel also starred in and produced The Last Witch Hunter for Lionsgate, which also starred Sir Michael Caine. In 2016, Diesel was seen in Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. In 2011, Diesel was seen in Fast Five, the fifth installment of the blockbuster The Fast and the Furious franchise, as well as Fast & Furious (2009). Diesel wore multiple hats on both projects as he reprised his role as Dominic Toretto and produced the films, along with Neal H. Moritz. He also wrote and directed the original short film Los Bandoleros. The short, which was showcased on the Fast & Furious DVD, tells the intriguing backstory of the characters and events leading up to the explosive oil-truck heist in the film.
Another endeavor in Diesel’s entrepreneurial rise was the creation of his successful video-game company, Tigon Studios, which created and produced 2004’s top-selling Xbox game, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.
Diesel previously starred alongside Michelle Yeoh in 20th Century Fox’s Babylon A.D., for director Mathieu Kassovitz. In the thriller, Diesel played a veteran-turned-mercenary who takes the high-risk job of escorting a woman from Russia to China. He is unaware that she is carrying an organism that a cult wants to harvest to produce a genetically modified messiah.
Diesel was also seen in the courtroom drama Find Me Guilty, directed by renowned filmmaker Sidney Lumet. Set in the ’80s, the film documents the famous three-year trial of 20 members of a mob family. Diesel earned critical acclaim for his portrayal of Jackie DiNorscio, the one mobster who chose to forgo his rights to an attorney and defended himself. To play this role, Diesel transformed himself into the 47-year-old Italian mobster by putting on 20 pounds.
Diesel will play the title role in Hannibal the Conqueror, which tells the story of the Carthaginian general who rode an elephant across the Alps to attack Rome in the third century B.C. In addition to this film, Diesel’s One Race Films will produce Hannibal the Barbarian, a children’s animated series based on the stories of Hannibal, for the BET network. Diesel’s future projects include Touchstone Pictures’ Player’s Rule. The film, written by Ron Bass and Jen Smolka, will be Diesel’s first role as the lead in a romantic comedy. Diesel will star in The Wheelman, which is in development with MTV Films, Paramount Pictures and One Race Films. Diesel’s Tigon Studios and Midway Games will collaborate to release the film and video game simultaneously. Diesel starred in his first comedy feature for Disney, The Pacifier, opposite Faith Ford, Brad Garrett, Lauren Graham and Brittany Snow. The 2005 film, directed by Adam Shankman, followed an undercover agent who, after failing to protect an important government scientist, learns that the scientist’s family is in danger. In an effort to redeem himself, he agrees to take care of the man’s children—only to discover that child care is his toughest mission yet. The Pacifier was a huge box-office success.
In the highly anticipated science-fiction feature The Chronicles of Riddick, Diesel reprised the title role of Richard B. Riddick. Produced by One Race Films, it was the follow-up to the cult favorite Pitch Black. Diesel previously starred in the action-thriller A Man Apart, which he also produced.
Topping Diesel’s list of credits is his star turn in 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, for which he won an MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Team, along with co-star Paul Walker, and was nominated for Best Male Performance. He starred in the blockbuster xXx, which he also executive produced. Diesel appeared in Saving Private Ryan, for which he was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the film’s ensemble cast. His other credits include Boiler Room and the voice of the title character in The Iron Giant, which won an Annie Award for Best Animated Feature.
Diesel wrote, produced, directed and starred in the independent short Multi-Facial, which explored the issue of being multiracial in today’s society. The film follows Diesel, whose biological mother is Caucasian and biological father is African-American, on several auditions in which he is told he is either “too black” or “too white” for the part. It was after seeing this short at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival that director Steven Spielberg created the role of Private Adrian Caparzo in Saving Private Ryan specifically for Diesel.
Diesel wrote, produced, directed and starred in the full-length feature Strays, which he described as a “multicultural Saturday Night Fever.” The drama was selected to compete at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival.
With film revenues exceeding $2 billion worldwide, DWAYNE JOHNSON (Hobbs) has solidified himself as a global box-office powerhouse in both film and television.
Always adding to his busy schedule, Johnson shows no sign of slowing down. In addition to The Fate of the Furious, he stars in Paramount’s highly anticipated big-screen adaptation of Baywatch (May 26, 2017). Johnson is currently filming the third season of the critically acclaimed Ballers for HBO where he plays an ex-football star turned money manager, navigating life on the other side of the field. Johnson will round out with Sony’s continuation of the classic Jumanji, alongside Kevin Hart and Jack Black (December 22, 2017). He is also tied to the remake of the cult-classic Big Trouble in Little China for FOX and The Jansen Directive for Universal, and will begin production on an action-based feature Rampage later this year.
Adding to a slew of tent-pole films, Johnson starred in the 2015 summer blockbuster San Andreas, and the highest-grossing live-action comedy, Central Intelligence, opposite Kevin Hart for New Line Cinema and Universal Pictures, which was released in June 2016. He has also lent his voice to the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Moana, which was released in November 2016.
In addition, Johnson’s production company, Seven Bucks Productions, recently teamed up with Spike TV to produce a monumental holiday event, Rock the Troops, a music and entertainment experience created to honor, inspire and captivate the brave men and women of America’s armed services. This compelling and modern tribute emanated from the historic Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and brought together A-list headliners from the worlds of music, comedy and film. Seven Bucks will also release a youth-prison documentary, Rock and a Hard Place for HBO.
Johnson’s most recent film credits include Universal Pictures’ Furious 7, alongside Vin Diesel; Paramount Pictures’ Hercules, directed by Brett Ratner, where Johnson took on the title role; the dramatic thriller Snitch, about a father who goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his imprisoned son; the comic-book action-adventure G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the second installment of the franchise, opposite Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum; the dramatic independent film Empire State, with Liam Hemsworth and Emma Roberts; Pain & Gain, alongside Mark Wahlberg; and The Fast and the Furious franchise films, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6, which grossed a combined $1.4 billion globally.
Johnson’s previous films include Race to Witch Mountain; Tooth Fairy; Planet 51; Get Smart; The Game Plan; Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, which grossed more than $335 million worldwide; Be Cool, MGM’s sequel to Get Shorty, alongside John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Vince Vaughn; the 2004 remake Walking Tall; and Universal Pictures’ The Rundown, a critically acclaimed action-comedy directed by Peter Berg that co-starred Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson and Christopher Walken.
Johnson has garnered much critical acclaim and recognition for his range and diverse roles. In 2008, Entertainment Weekly placed Johnson on “Hollywood’s Next A-List,” alongside Robert Downey, Jr., Ellen Page, James McAvoy and Amy Adams.
Johnson’s love of acting and desire to branch out led him to appear on Saturday Night Live (SNL) in March 2000, surprising many with his comedic strengths; the episode garnered the show’s highest rating that year. Johnson has appeared on SNL four times. Johnson was subsequently cast by Stephen Sommers in The Mummy Returns, which grossed more than $400 million worldwide. His character was so well received by Universal Pictures’ executives during dailies that they immediately planned a film based on his character, The Scorpion King, which broke box-office records in 2002 as the biggest April opening of all time.
Johnson’s accolades include being named NAACP’s 2016 “Entertainer of the Year,” People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2016 and USA Today’s “2016 Movie Person of the Year.” He was also included in TIME magazine’s 2016 Most Influential People, and The Hollywood Reporter’s Annual Power 100 List for 2016.
Born in San Francisco and raised in Hawaii, Johnson excelled as a high school All-American and subsequently as a star defensive lineman for the University of Miami Hurricanes, helping to lead his team to overcome huge hurdles and become national champions. Upon graduating from the University of Miami, Johnson followed in the footsteps of his WWE Hall of Fame father, Rocky Johnson, and grandfather, High Chief Peter Maivia, by joining the competitive sports entertainment world of the WWE. Within a seven-year period (1996-2003), his intense passion led to an extraordinarily successful career breaking box-office attendance records across the U.S. and setting pay-per-view buy-rate records during that time as well. Johnson created The Rock, which became one of the most charismatic and dynamic characters in the industry. In March 2012, Johnson made a record-breaking return to the WWE, crushing John Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami.
Not content to remain only in front of the camera, Johnson penned an autobiography, “The Rock Says…,” which reached No. 1 on The New York Times Best-Seller List shortly after its publication in January 2000.
In 2006, Johnson created The Rock Foundation, whose mission is to “educate, empower and motivate children worldwide through health and physical fitness.” A dedicated philanthropist, Johnson is the current national spokesperson for the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Diabetes Aware campaign. He is also a member of The American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet and serves as a National Celebrity Wish Ambassador for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. In 2008, the United States Joint Leadership Commission recognized Johnson with the prestigious Horizon Award, which is given to an individual in the private sector who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and provided opportunities for youth nationwide.
JASON STATHAM (Deckard Shaw), an international star best known for his hard-hitting action films, most recently starred in the global box-office hit Mechanic: Resurrection. He received a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for his comedic turn in Paul Feig’s comedy Spy, opposite Melissa McCarthy.
Born in Sydenham, England, Statham became a member of the British national diving team as one of its top divers, eventually placing 12th at the World Championships. While he trained at the famed Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London, film crews and photographers pursued him as new talent.
Statham eventually met director Guy Ritchie who cast him in the role of Bacon in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, the feature-film debut for both of them. Statham teamed up with Ritchie again for Snatch, in which he starred opposite Brad Pitt and Benicio Del Toro. French film impresario Luc Besson trusted Statham in the lead role of Frank Martin in The Transporter. Statham went on to star in the blockbuster remake of The Italian Job, Crank, Transporter 2 and Transporter 3, Roger Donaldson’s The Bank Job, Death Race, Crank: High Voltage, Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 1, 2 and 3, The Mechanic, Blitz, Killer Elite, Boaz Yakin’s Safe, Parker with Jennifer Lopez, Homefront, Wild Card and Steven Knight’s directorial debut Hummingbird. In 2015, he joined the highly successful The Fast and the Furious franchise as Deckard Shaw in Furious 7.
Statham recently wrapped production on the highly anticipated Warner Bros. action-adventure film Meg slated for release in 2018.
MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ (Letty) is a versatile actress known for her ability to combine her physicality with a natural beauty and unforced sex appeal. She was named one of the hottest Latina actresses in Hollywood by the Huffington Post.
She will soon begin production on Steve McQueen’s Widows alongside Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo.
Rodriguez will next star in The Assignment, which premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is set for release in April 2017. That same month, Rodriguez will star in Smurfs: The Lost Village for which she voices the character of Stormy Smurf.
In 2013, Rodriguez lent her voice in David Soren’s animated feature Turbo, alongside Ryan Reynolds, Michael Peña and Paul Giamatti, and returned as Luz in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, the sequel to the action feature Machete.
Additional credits include James Cameron’s Academy Award® nominated sci-fi epic Avatar, the Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning television series Lost, Battle: Los Angeles, Blue Crush and S.W.A.T.
Rodriguez worked as an extra for two years before landing her breakout role in Karyn Kusama’s Girlfight. Her portrayal of Diana Guzman garnered her awards such as an Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance, as well as National Board of Review Award for Breakthrough Performance.
An avid video game fan, Rodriguez has also lent her voice to various popular games including Call of Duty: Black Ops II, True Crime: Streets of LA, Driver3 and Halo 2.
Born in Bexar County, Texas, she currently resides in Venice, California.
TYRESE GIBSON (Roman) was born and raised in Watts, California, a section of South Central Los Angeles. Gibson discovered a love of music at an early age and released his self-titled debut album at the age of 19. Soon after, he received an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B New Artist in 2000. In addition to his music career, Gibson has found success in both acting and modeling and appeared in numerous television series and commercials, through an exclusive contract with Guess? and designer Tommy Hilfiger.
Gibson made his motion-picture debut as the star of John Singleton’s Baby Boy and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for his role as Joseph Summers. He again worked with director Singleton on 2 Fast 2 Furious.
2017 will be a big year for Gibson as he reprises two of his most well-known roles. In addition to Roman Pierce, Gibson will reprise the role of Robert Epps in Transformers: The Last Knight. He will also continue his recurring role in Fox’s musical drama television series Star, where he plays Pastor Bobby Harris, an ex-thug and the love interest of Carlotta Brown, played by Queen Latifah.
Universal Pictures has optioned Desert Eagle, an action spec scripted by Gibson and Mike Le, in which a pair of border patrol agents investigate a drug cartel being operated out of a Native American reservation casino. Gibson will star in and executive produce through his Voltron Filmz, alongside Scott Stuber, who will produce via his Bluegrass Films banner.
Gibson’s other credits include Ride Along 2, which starred Ice Cube and Kevin Hart; Furious 7; Black Nativity, opposite Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson; Fast & Furious 6; Fast Five; Michael Bay’s blockbuster Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; Paul W.S. Anderson’s sci-fi thriller Death Race, with Jason Statham, Joan Allen and Ian McShane; the horror-action film Legion, alongside Dennis Quaid and Paul Bettany; Brad Furman’s crime drama The Take, opposite John Leguizamo and Rosie Perez; Flight of the Phoenix; Singleton’s Four Brothers, which co-starred Mark Wahlberg and André Benjamin; Annapolis, directed by Justin Lin; and Vondie Curtis-Hall’s Waist Deep.
Gibson’s motivational book, “How to Get Out of Your Own Way,” published by Grand Central Publishing, was released on April 7, 2011. In 2013, he released “Manology: Secrets of Your Man’s Mind Revealed,” which he co-wrote with Run-D.M.C.’s DJ Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons.
The career of the multitalented CHRIS “LUDACRIS” BRIDGES (Tej) can best be described as remarkable. As a recording artist, Bridges has sold more than 15 million albums domestically, thanks to the blockbuster success of such singles as “Stand Up,” “Get Back,” “Southern Hospitality,” “Number One Spot,” “Money Maker” and “My Chick Bad.” All of these records were accompanied by ingenious videos that demonstrated Bridges’ far-reaching imagination and his willingness to stretch the boundaries of what rap videos should look and feel like.
With an unrivaled match of lyrical acumen, wit and imagery, Bridges has solidified himself as one of music’s premier entertainers. Although he’s best known for his infectious tunes, Ludacris has shown that he’s equally adept at writing powerful songs with serious subject matter, including runaways with the song “Runaway Love.” Bridges’ versatility and artistic complexity also enabled him to make a seamless transition to acting. Most recently, he starred in Furious 7, the seventh installment in the global box-office hit franchise. His other feature-film credits include Universal Pictures’ 2 Fast 2 Furious, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6; Garry Marshall’s ensemble comedy New Year’s Eve; and Ivan Reitman’s romantic comedy No Strings Attached, opposite Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. His acclaimed performances in film (Crash, Hustle & Flow) and television (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) have Hollywood and critics alike buzzing about his increasingly impressive screen resume. Stepping back into the studio, he is wowing fans with his eighth studio album, Ludaversal.
A consummate businessman, Ludacris is enjoying success outside entertainment. His latest venture includes a highly anticipated new restaurant coming soon to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. His latest venture includes opening his long anticipated new restaurant Chicken-n-Beer at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport. In addition, he is dipping his hands in the tech space by partnering with apps such as Roadie, an on-the-way delivery service.
His philanthropic efforts rival his entertainment accomplishments. He partnered with Crash writer/director Paul Haggis and Artists for Peace and Justice to help raise more than four million dollars for Haitian relief efforts. In addition, he has raised more than $100,000 for Atlanta flood victims through The Ludacris Foundation. Having partnered with Jane Fonda, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Nelson Mandela, to name a few, the foundation continues to inspire youth through education.
HELEN MIRREN has won an Oscar®, Primetime Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, a Tony Award, multiple British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards and two Golden Globe Awards, as international recognition for her work on stage, screen and television. For her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 of The Queen, she received an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe Award, a SAG Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress. She was also named Best Actress by virtually every critic’s organization from Los Angeles to London. In 2014, she was honored with the BAFTA fellowship for her outstanding career in film.
On stage, Mirren recently reprised her role as Queen Elizabeth II on Broadway in The Audience, a play by Peter Morgan and directed by Stephen Daldry, for which she won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. In 2013, she debuted her stage role of Elizabeth II in The Audience in London’s West End, for which she received the Olivier Award and Evening Standard Award, and a 2014 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actress.
Mirren will next be seen in Sony Pictures Classics’ The Leisure Seeker and Walt Disney Pictures’ The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. She will soon begin production on CBS Films’ Winchester, portraying Sarah Winchester.
Most recently, she was seen in Warner Bros.’ Collateral Beauty; Bleecker Street Media’s Eye in the Sky, where she portrayed an army colonel in a world of remotely piloted aircraft warfare and Trumbo, where she portrayed Hedda Hopper; and The Weinstein Company’s Woman in Gold, where she portrayed Maria Altmann, the Austrian-Jewish refugee who fought to reclaim her family’s art that had been stolen by the Nazis in World War II.
Other recent films include Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred-Foot Journey, produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey; and the HBO biopic Phil Spector, for which she won a SAG Award for her performance and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Additionally, she voiced the character of Dean Hardscrabble in Walt Disney Pictures’ Monsters University.
Previous works include Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Hitchcock for which she was nominated for Golden Globe and SAG Awards, RED and RED 2, John Madden’s The Debt and Hungarian director István Szabó’s The Door.
Mirren began her career in the role of Cleopatra at the National Youth Theatre. She then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she starred in such productions as Troilus and Cressida and Macbeth. In 1972, she joined renowned director Peter Brook’s theater company and toured the world.
Her film career began with Michael Powell’s Age of Consent, but her breakthrough film role came in 1980 in John Mackenzie’s The Long Good Friday. Over the next 10 years, she starred in a wide range of acclaimed films, including John Boorman’s Excalibur; Pat O’Connor’s Irish thriller Cal, for which she won the award for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival and an Evening Standard British Film Award; Peter Weir’s The Mosquito Coast; Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover; and Charles Sturridge’s Where Angels Fear to Tread.
Mirren earned her first Oscar® nomination for her portrayal of Queen Charlotte in Nicholas Hytner’s The Madness of King George, for which she also won her second Best Actress honors at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. Her second Oscar® nomination came for her work in Robert Altman’s 2001 film Gosford Park. Her performance as the housekeeper also brought her Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations; several critics groups’ awards; and dual SAG Awards, one for Best Supporting Actress and a second as part of the winning ensemble cast. Most recently, Mirren earned both Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award nominations for her performance in The Last Station in the role of Sofya Tolstoy.
Among her other film credits are Terry George’s Some Mother’s Son, for which she also served as associate producer; Calendar Girls; The Clearing; Shadowboxer; State of Play; The Tempest; and Brighton Rock.
On television, Mirren starred in the award-winning series Prime Suspect as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison. She earned a Primetime Emmy Award and three BAFTA Awards, as well as numerous award nominations, for her role in early installments of the Prime Suspect series. She won another Primetime Emmy Award and earned a Golden Globe Award nomination when she reprised the role of Detective Jane Tennison in 2006’s Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act, the last installment in the PBS series. Most recently, Mirren was also honored for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in the HBO miniseries Elizabeth I, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a SAG Award.
Her long list of television credits also includes Losing Chase, The Passion of Ayn Rand, Door to Door and The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone—for which she earned Golden Globe Award, Primetime Emmy Award and SAG Award nominations and awards.
Mirren has also worked extensively in the theater. She received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in Mourning Becomes Electra at London’s National Theatre. In 2009, Mirren returned to the National Theatre to star in the title role in Phèdre, directed by Sir Nicholas Hytner. In 2003, Mirren became a Dame of the British Empire.
NATHALIE EMMANUEL (Ramsey) is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after English actresses. Emmanuel can currently be seen playing the role of Missandei on the critically acclaimed HBO series Game of Thrones, which will return for its seventh season this year.
Emmanuel made her U.S. feature-film debut in the seventh installment of the massively popular The Fast and the Furious franchise Furious 7, which also starred Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster and the late Paul Walker. The film was released on April 3, 2015, and grossed more than $1 billion at the box office, becoming the highest grossing film of the franchise and one of the highest grossing films of all time.
Emmanuel was recently seen in 20th Century Fox’s Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, which is the second installment in the popular young-adult franchise based on the book series of the same name by James Dashner.
Born and raised in the U.K., Emmanuel landed her first role on the professional stage at the age of 10 when she starred in the original London cast of The Lion King, where she played Young Nala. She then went on to play the role of Sasha Valentine in Channel 4’s popular soap Hollyoaks. Since then, Emmanuel has continued working on a number of British television shows including the BAFTA Award-winning series Misfits.
ELSA PATAKY (Elena Neves) is best known for her role as Elena, Vin Diesel’s love interest, in the record-breaking The Fast and the Furious franchise. With roles in over 20 films and three television series, Pataky’s recognition spans well beyond The Fast and the Furious films, making her one of the most well-known Spanish actresses of her generation. Her title role in Ninette, helmed by Oscar®-winner José Luis Garci, brought her undivided critical acclaim and firmly established Pataky as a much sought-after leading lady.
Pataky launched her U.S. career with a supporting role opposite Samuel L. Jackson in New Line Cinema’s Snakes on a Plane. Since then, she has continued to become one of the world’s hottest international actresses, starring in independent films Mr. Nice with Chloë Sevigny and Rhys Ifans, and Bigas Luna’s Di Di Hollywood in 2010. She recently wrapped the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Horse Soldiers, in which she appears opposite Chris Hemsworth.
SCOTT EASTWOOD (Little Nobody) is quickly emerging as one of Hollywood’s most highly sought-after actors.
Eastwood is currently filming Steven S. DeKnight’s Pacific Rim Uprising alongside John Boyega. The film will be released in February 2018.
His most recent projects include David Ayer’s DC Comics film Suicide Squad, alongside Will Smith and Jared Leto; and Oliver Stone’s biographical drama Snowden (Open Road Films), in which he starred alongside Shailene Woodley, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zachary Quinto.
In 2015, Eastwood co-starred alongside Britt Robertson as champion bull rider Luke Collins in the romantic drama The Longest Ride, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. He also appeared opposite Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf in the war drama Fury for Ayer.
His other film credits include Gran Torino, Dawn Patrol, Invictus and Flags of Our Fathers.
Aside from his various films, Eastwood can also be seen in Taylor Swift’s music video “Wildest Dreams” in which he stars as her love interest. The video was released in August 2015, and received over 10 million views in its opening weekend.
Eastwood is the face of the 2017 BMW 5 Series campaign, Davidoff Cool Water cologne, Persol sunglasses and IWC Schaffhausen watches.
KURT RUSSELL (Mr. Nobody), who has delivered memorable comedic and dramatic film performances since 1962, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and started his acting career at the age of 10. Russell worked with director John Carpenter on Escape from New York and Escape from L.A., in the role of Snake Plisskin. He also worked with Carpenter on the acclaimed telefilm Elvis, for which Russell received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination, and the features The Thing and Big Trouble in Little China. Russell’s most recent feature-film credits include Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon. Russell can be seen next in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Russell’s past starring roles include Mike Nichols’ Silkwood; Robert Zemeckis’ Used Cars; Jonathan Demme’s Swing Shift; Garry Marshall’s Overboard; Tequila Sunrise; Tango & Cash; Ron Howard’s Backdraft; Tombstone; Stargate; Executive Decision; Breakdown; and Soldier. He has also starred in The Mean Season, The Best of Times, Winter People, Captain Ron, Unlawful Entry, Dark Blue, Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story, Vanilla Sky and Poseidon.
Russell’s long association with Walt Disney Studios has spanned nearly 40 years. He completed 15 films, including Follow Me, Boys!, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, The Barefoot Executive, The Fox and the Hound, Miracle and Sky High. Additionally, he appeared in several episodes of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. Other television credits include the films Amber Waves and The Deadly Tower, in which Russell portrayed the Texas murderer Charles Whitman.
South African-born and Oscar®-winning actress CHARLIZE THERON (Cipher) is one of the most celebrated actresses of our time, captivating audiences with her ability to embody a range of characters. Over the years, Theron has appeared in numerous films including The Devil’s Advocate; The Cider House Rules; the critically acclaimed Monster, for which she earned an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award and two Independent Spirit Awards; North Country, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe Award, a SAG Award and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award; Hancock; Young Adult, for which she garnered a Golden Globe Award nomination; HBO’s The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, for which she received a Golden Globe Award, SAG, and Primetime Emmy Award nominations; Snow White and the Huntsman; and A Million Ways to Die in the West; Mad Max: Fury Road; Dark Places; The Huntsman: Winter’s War; Kubo and the Two Strings; and The Last Face.
This year, Theron is credited as an executive producer of the new Netflix series Girlboss, under Denver and Delilah’s banner. She will produce and star in Atomic Blonde alongside James McAvoy, which is set for release on July 28. She will also appear in the new Jason Reitman film Tully.
In addition to Theron’s acting success and principal involvement with her production company Denver & Delilah, she serves as a United Nations Messenger of Peace and founder of the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP). CTAOP’s mission is to help keep African youth safe from HIV through its support of on-the-ground, community-engaged organizations. CTAOP serves as a vehicle for communities to empower themselves and their youth in order to prevent the spread of HIV.