You’ll Never Guess Who is Joining the Cast of the Fast and the Furious

In a surprise announcement, Universal Pictures announced on Friday that the ninth installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise will have an unexpected addition to the cast lineup, the esteemed British thespian Benedict Cumberbatch.  Signing on to the billion-dollar action blockbuster may seem like an unexpected move for Cumberbatch, who has been nominated for seven BAFTAs, five SAGs, and three Laurence Olivier awards, but insiders report that the FF series has always been a guilty pleasure for the British actor, and he’d always thought “it would just be so much fun to be a part of.”

Cumberbatch has been a fan of the Furious franchise for years.

Principal photography began four weeks ago on the as yet unnamed movie (known as FF9 for the time being), which is scheduled to be released in May 2020.  Although Cumberbatch has been a car enthusiast for years, he’s come to a new appreciation of the skill required in high-speed racing.  Like all of the principal cast of the FF movies, Cumberbatch has taken two intensive courses in high-speed driving and stunt driving to get ready for this role.  “It’s an entirely different reality when you get past 200 [kilometers per hour, which is about 120 mph].  The driving rules you’re used to are utterly out the window.  Speaking of which, I don’t recommend lowering the windows at that speed.”

Cumberbatch: “The driving rules you’re used to are utterly out the window.”

In another surprising twist, Cumberbatch has insisted on doing all of his own stunt driving, which would be a first for a lead actor in this franchise.  Although, some have subtly suggested that Cumberbatch has not quite attained the level of skill necessary to pull off the death-defying tricks demanded by the script, as he’s already crashed two Porsches and a sleek Nissan GT-R R35 in only two weeks of stunt shooting.  The actor walked away from the first two crashes unscathed, but tragically lost his left pinky toe when the rescue team on set pulled him from the totaled GT-R.  Undiscouraged, Cumberbatch bravely told this reporter, “It’s a small sacrifice in the production of high art, and I am willing to risk my own safety toward that noble end.  It’s not unlike that nasty rash I got on me bum from filming in the swamp in 12 Years a Slave.”  When asked about the deaths of three extras and four members of the shooting crew caused by his three accidents, Cumberbatch answered, “Well, I didn’t really know those people – I try to think of them as people, you know – but I’m 100% confident that they also see the nobility in our shared sacrifice.”

When I asked him if he planned to seek out more turbo-charged roles in the future, after his experience on FF9 so far, Cumberbatch’s face broke into a wide grin.  “This has been proper thrilling, you know, and I definitely want more.  But it’s not enough – I won’t be satisfied until I have mastered every genre of film and theater.  I’m contracted to appear in two more [Fast and] Furious movies after this one – assuming I survive, of course, no spoilers,” he says with a wink, “but after shooting on this chapter ends, I have lined up six weeks of intensive training in movement and expression, to prepare me for a four-week tour through the cities and villages of France and Belgium, in order to perfect my mimery.  I’ve been following the trades, and I think the medium is about to peak.”

Look for Cumberbatch on the streets of Toulouse starting in August.