Emmy-, Grammy-, Oscar-, and Tony Award-winner Rita Moreno has climbed aboard the Fast and Furious franchise. The West Side Story actress has joined the cast of the upcoming tenth film, Fast X, which is currently in production and due to be released in 2023.
On Instagram, franchise leader Vin Diesel, a.k.a. Dominic “Dom” Toretto, posted a short, 42-second video alongside the actress and his longtime co-star Michelle Rodriguez announcing Moreno’s casting as Dom's grandmother.
“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,” the actor said while sitting between Moreno and Rodriguez. “I’m so blessed.”
“You know what?” the 90-year-old actress added afterward. “I think my old age was waiting for you to invite me. Isn’t that nice? And I’m here. And the answer is yes, I’ll do it. And yes, not only do it, but I’m tickled. I’m tickled to hell to do it. I’m so thrilled, this is gonna be such fun.”
As Diesel exchanges a “thank you” and “I love you,” Rodriguez excitedly exclaims, “Rita Moreno in the house, baby!” Smiles and laughs can be heard.
In a Variety interview in June 2021, Diesel previously teased the possibility of Moreno joining the franchise, discussing the idea of diving deeper into the Toretto family tree. The previous film, 2021’s F9, introduced Dom’s long-lost brother Jakob (played by John Cena), but there still remains some missing gaps as to who Mother Toretto would be.
There will be other major stars joining alongside the cast for Fast X. Jason Momoa will be playing the film’s unnamed villain. Brie Larson, Daniela Melchior, and Alan Ritchson are also announced to star in currently undisclosed roles.
Cardi B will also reprise her role as Leysa from the previous movie, F9. Other previous cast members returning include Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, and Charlize Theron.
Although there are many returnees, director Justin Lin, who has helmed five films in the Fast and Furious franchise, announced in May he’d stepped down; he’s being replaced by Louis Leterrier, best known for directing the first two Transporter films and Clash of the Titans.
Fast X is scheduled to release in cinemas on May 19, 2023. Perhaps you can use this long wait to watch a marathon of all current nine installments of the franchise.