Universal Announces Plans to End Michelle Rodriguez’s Fast & Furious Franchise with Two Final Films

It’s the beginning of the end for Michelle Rodriguez.

Universal Pictures is planning to wrap up its Fast & Furious core film franchise, starring the 42-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress, with two final movies that will bring to a close a franchise.

Michelle Rodriguez The Limit

The Fast & Furious films have revved their way to become the highest-grossing movie series in the studio’s history. Justin Lin, who’s in post-production on F9, is in talks to direct the final two installments and bring a saga that began nearly 20 years ago to a close.

It’s early days on when this will begin production but it seems likely they will tell a big story over two films that will focus on franchise patriarch Vin Diesel and bring back Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel and Sung Kang.

F9 — which is the fifth film in the franchise directed by Lin and which premieres next Memorial Day — continues the storyline of the core cast and Charlize Theron, and adds John Cena, Helen Mirren, Grammy-winner Cardi B and reggaeton star Ozuna. They are just beginning to put the final two vehicles together. There’s speculation that Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham — core cast members who peeled off for the F&F spinoff Hobbs & Shaw after Johnson and Diesel had a falling out — will be back for the finale.

There’s also an opportunity to pull off the motorhead’s answer to Marvel’s Avengers, a configuration that might include Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot, also part of the ensemble earlier in her career.

It might not have seemed probable back when The Fast & Furious launched the franchise in 2001 with Diesel and Paul Walker as lead-footed protagonists, but the entire series has eclipsed Jurassic Park to become Universal’s biggest. The eight movies and the spinoff have grossed around $5.7 billion; Jurassic is also over $5 billion and has its next installment, Jurassic World: Dominion, shooting in London.

The Fast franchise survived the tragic death of cornerstone star Walker, but it’s always good to end the race before the vehicle runs out of gas. There are still plans for other movie spinoffs and TV shows, so there will be no call for the studio to be calling Kars for Kids to cart away a junker.

It is likely that the final two installments will be produced by Diesel through his One Race Films banner, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Lin, Neal Moritz, Joe Roth, Clayton Townsend and Samantha Vincent. They are the producers of F9.

Lin berthed his Perfect Storm Entertainment banner at Universal in a multi-year overall film and TV deal in late summer, and these two films will likely keep him busy for a long time.

Universal Moves Release Date of Michelle Rodriguez’s “F9” to Memorial Day 2021

Michelle Rodriguez is getting some push back…

Universal Pictures has announced plans to move F9, starring the 42-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress, to May 28, 2021, which is Memorial Day weekend.

Michelle Rodriguez F9

The move comes after MGM moved its James Bond pic No Time to Die, starring Ana de Armas, to April 2, 2021 — which had been the release date for this latest installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise.

In March, F9 drove out of its original May 22, 2020 global day-and-date release amid the coronavirus lockdown. The studio had previously reserved that April 2021 date for Fast & Furious 10.

Justin Lin returns to direct F9 a cast that includes Rodriguez, who portrays Letty Ortiz, Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron, Cardi B and Ozuna.

The entire franchise, including spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, through nine movies counts $5.9 billion at the worldwide box office.

Esco to Star in CBS’ Drama Pilot “S.W.A.T.”

Lina Esco is reporting for duty…

The Latina actress has landed a series-regular role opposite Shemar Moore and Stephanie Sigman on CBS’ drama pilot S.W.A.T.

Lina Esco

Written by Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and directed by Justin Lin and inspired by the 2003 film of the sane name, S.W.A.T. is described as an intense, action-packed procedural following a locally born-and-bred S.W.A.T. lieutenant, Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson (Moore), who is torn between loyalty to the streets and duty to his fellow officers when he’s tasked to run a highly trained unit that is the last stop for solving crimes in Los Angeles.

Esco will play Chris. Fueled by nerves, she is a skilled officer and exceedingly calm under pressure. She isn’t pleased with her leader’s sudden departure and a shift in power but doesn’t spend too much time focused on the negatives; the mission is the only thing that matters.

Esco plays Ava on Audience Network’s Kingdom and recently recurred on Flaked.

Sigman to Star in CBS’ “S.W.A.T.” Pilot, Based on the 2011 Crime Drama

Stephanie Sigman is about to get tactical…

The Mexican-American actress, who rose to acclaim in the 2011 crime drama film Miss Bala, will star in CBS’ S.W.A.T. reboot.

Stephanie Sigman

Sigman is the first cast member to sign onto the reboot, which is based on the movie of the same name.

The pilot follows a locally born and bred S.W.A.T. lieutenant who is torn between loyalty to the streets and duty to his fellow officers when he’s tasked to run a highly-trained unit that’s the last stop for solving crimes in Los Angeles. Sources say CBS is nearing a deal with an actor for the lead lieutenant role.

Sigman will play Jessica, who’s described as ambitious and fastidious, and has earned her high rank at S.W.A.T. headquarters.

The “S.W.A.T.” pilot was written by Aaron Thomas and will be directed by Justin Lin.

Sony Pictures Television and CBS Television Studios are behind the hourlong drama.

The series is based on the 2003 film, which starred Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, LL Cool J, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jeremy Renner. That movie was based on the 1970s series, produced by Aaron Spelling, which ran for two seasons on ABC.

“S.W.A.T.” is the latest project for Sigman, who’s been in high demand ever since her scene-stealing role in the 2015 Daniel Craig movie Spectre. She also starred in the first season of Netflix’s Narcos, and appeared in a few episodes of ABC’s anthology series American Crime from John Ridley. This is the second consecutive pilot season that Sigman has been cast in a lead role, following Ridley’s ABC detective drama, Presence, which ultimately was not greenlit to series.

Up next for the actress is the sequel to the hit horror movie Annabelle 2.

“Star Trek 3,” Starring Saldaña, to be Released in July 2016

Zoë Saldaña is ready to trek back into theaters in July 2016…

Paramount Pictures has scheduled the latest installment of the Star Trek reboot, starring the 36-year-old half-Dominican/half-Puerto Rican American actress, for release on July 8, 2016. The film will be released ahead of the 50th anniversary of the classic show.

Zoë Saldaña

The original series of Star Trek was first broadcast in September 1966 on NBC, after an unsuccessful pilot was made a couple of years earlier. The show ran for three years and spawned several spin-offs and a series of movies.

Saldaña will reprise her role as Nyota Uhura in the third installment of this latest Star Trek film franchise. She appeared in 2009’s Star Trek and its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).

Star Trek 3 will be directed by Justin Lin.

Orci’s Latest Project “Scorpion” Gets Pilot Order at CBS

Roberto Orci latest television could have (eight) legs at CBS…

The network has given a pilot order to Scorpion, a drama from the 40-year-old Mexican American film and television writer and producer, Nick Santora, Justin Lin and Alex Kurtzman.

Roberto Orci

The project, which had a put pilot commitment, was written by Breakout Kings co-creator Santora and will be directed by Fast & Furious’ Lin, with CBS Television Studios producing.

It centers on an eccentric genius and his international network of super-geniuses who form the last line of defense against the complex threats of the modern age.

Scorpion was inspired by the true story of Walter O’Brien (hacker name “Scorpion”), CEO of global think tank Scorpion Computer Services. A man with one of the world’s highest documented IQs (1 in 1.5B people), O’Brien became a real-life Professor X and recruited and trained other geniuses from around the world to work together to save lives and solve problems from casino security to Military Drone warfare.

This is a second pilot order this season from Orci and Kurtzman’s K/O, along with the terrorism drama Identity at the CW.