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Never turn your back on family or Vin Diesel will find you! The tenth chapter in the Fast Saga just got a huge nitrous injection of talent from the addition of EGOT-winner Rita Moreno, SYFY WIRE has confirmed.
Diesel made the official announcement on Instagram Tuesday, revealing that Moreno (famous for playing Anita in the original film adaptation of West Side Story) has been cast as the grandmother of his silver screen speed demon, Dominic Toretto. "It's been my dream forever to work with Rita Moreno and the fact that she's here playing my grandmother makes my soul smile. I am so blessed," the actor said in a pre-recorded video message.
"I think my old age was waiting for you to invite me. Isn't that nice?" added Moreno, who was hovering the background with Michelle Rodriguez (reprising the character of Letty Ortiz). "I'm here and the answer is, 'Yes, I'll do it.' Not only do it, I'm tickled. To hell with 'tickled.' I am so thrilled, this is gonna be such fun."
Speaking with Variety last summer, Diesel teased that the final two movies would most likely expand on the Toretto family tree — which now includes Dom, Mia (Jordana Brewster), and long-lost brother Jakob (John Cena) — by introducing Mama Toretto.
“We’ve been talking a lot about Mrs. Toretto, from the very beginning of [me] coming back for F9. So, I feel like there’s gonna be a time and place to be able to reveal that," he said, going on to name-drop Moreno in conjunction with the role of Granny Toretto. "Before we get to Mother Toretto, we will get to Abuela," he added. "And the person that I’m so excited to talk about that role is Rita Moreno."
The Fast Saga has recruited a number of Oscar-winners over the years, including Dame Helen Mirren (Magdalene Shaw), Charlize Theron (Cipher), and now, Larson and Moreno. With that said, Moreno is one of only 16 people in the history of entertainment to win the four big awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. "Strangely enough, 20 years ago you wouldn't have thought this, but now we do have Oscar winners all asking to be a part of the film," Diesel told Jimmy Kimmel in 2020. "It's bizarre."
Production on the penultimate chapter in the high-octane film franchise is currently underway in the United Kingdom with a slew of Fast & Furious newcomers like Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), Daniela Melchior (The Suicide Squad), and Alan Ritchson (Reacher). No character details have been announced beyond confirmation that Momoa will step into the shoes of the central antagonist.
Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce), Ludacris (Tej Parker), Nathalie Emmanuel (Ramsey), Sung Kang (Han Lue), Charlize Theron (Cipher), Jordana Brewster (Mia Torretto), and Scott Eastwood (Little Nobody), Theron, and Cena return to play their established roles from previous installments.
Louis Letterier (Now You See Me, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) directs from a script co-written by Justin Lin and Dan Mazeau.
Fast X is currently scheduled for a wide theatrical release on May 19, 2023.