Gal Gadot’s career is hardly in the same exciting place it was after Wonder Woman first debuted in 2017. At the time, she was heralded as a genuine breakout star who managed to redeem the DCEU after the highly disappointing Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Comparisons were even made between Gadot’s work and Christopher Reeve’s performance in 1978’s Superman: The Movie. However, it seems like she hasn’t been able to find the same success in her subsequent work over the past few years; Wonder Woman 1984 was a massive disappointment, the Netflix action comedy Red Notice drew scathing reviews, the solid reviews for Death on the Nile rarely highlighted her performance, and the infamous “Imagine” video has drawn nothing but criticism and jokes at her expense. It seems like Gadot needs a reset, and it might be best for her to return to the place that she got her start: The Fast and the Furious franchise.
The Fast and the Furious franchise hasn’t been hurting at the box office, but the series has continued to decline in quality since Gadot’s last appearance in Fast & Furious 6. Vin Diesel’s lack of self-awareness has made the newer films almost unbearably grim, and the overtly confusing twists and storylines have started to grow weary; even the Diesel-less Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw was nothing more than a CGI-laden replication of antiquated buddy cop film clichés. The Fate of the Furious and F9 went to some really wacky places, but even the fun of the implausible stunts is broken up between laborious scenes of corny emotional dialogue. Based on the trailers released thus far, Fast X appears to be doubling down on the same tone.
There’s potential for Gadot to add something fresh and exciting to the Fast and Furious franchise; the series doesn’t need another muscle-bound bad guy after Luke Evans, Jason Statham, John Cena, and Jason Momoa have played versions of an identical antagonist. The franchise has found the most success when it honors its history with tributes to past characters, including the emotionally impactful sendoff for Paul Walker in Furious 7 and the return of Han (Sung Kang) in F9. It’s frankly a role that Gadot really needs in order to avoid becoming one of the many stars who have faded away after playing one iconic character.
Why Gal Gadot Needs the 'Fast and the Furious' Franchise
The initial praise Gadot earned for Wonder Woman wasn’t without justified reason. She’s delightfully charming in a film that balances the eccentricities of the character with the gravity of the World War I setting. However, Gadot has been unable to show any new layers to Diana Prince in subsequent installments in the same way that Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Lawrence did in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and X-Men franchises, respectively. In fact, Wonder Woman 1984 only highlighted that Gadot was less convincing in more serious moments. There’s nothing wrong with coasting on charisma alone if it’s something like The Fast and Furious, but it’s out of place in a franchise as historically important as Wonder Woman.
Beyond the scathing reaction to Wonder Woman 1984, the larger issue Gadot is facing is that it’s unlikely that she will be returning to the role of Diana at all. James Gunn appears to be erasing all shards of the fractured DCEU with new actors for his upcoming slate. Momoa's Aquaman and Zachary Levi's Shazam at least have new films coming out this year, but with news that DC would not be moving forward with Wonder Woman 3, it seems like there’s little interest in getting Gadot back.
Gadot’s other projects have been just as frustrating. Red Notice would’ve given her a chance to launch another exciting franchise if the film hadn’t been so terrible, and she failed to stand out within the sprawling ensemble of Death on the Nile. Gadot’s upcoming work includes another Netflix action vehicle entitled Heart of Stone and Disney’s remake of Snow White, in which she will undoubtedly be outshined by breakout star Rachel Zegler. However, Gadot was simply a scene stealer in Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, and Furious 7; her excellent hand-to-hand combat scenes and sharp one-liners were standouts amidst Diesel’s returning crew. It’s likely that her return would be met with the same enthusiasm that Kang’s did in F9; it’s better for The Fast and Furious series to remember its past instead of barreling towards an even more ridiculous future.
Why the 'Fast and the Furious' Franchise Needs Gal Gadot
It’s clear that the tone of The Fast and the Furious series has been off due to Diesel. Dom is expected to be taken seriously as a dramatic character, and the more charismatic Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have been shipped off to their own franchise. Considering that Gadot’s chemistry with Kang was one of the standout subplots in Fast Five, adding their romance back into the mix could add some genuine emotion to the series. F9 confirmed that Gisele had been working for Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) prior to her death; it would hardly be the first time that The Fast and Furious brought back a character from the dead.
The Fast and the Furious franchise is also in desperate need of more exciting female characters. Unfortunately, Michelle Rodriguez has been tied for too long to the unexciting storylines with Dom’s family, and neither Nathalie Emmanuel or Jordana Brewster has been given much to do. In a franchise that has attracted criticism for its depiction of women, it would be great to have Gadot pop back up as a positive role model whose skill speaks for itself.
One of the most exciting moments in The Fast and the Furious franchise was Diesel’s return to the series during his cameo in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift; it felt that there was more to do with the character, and elicited excitement based on his potential. Gisele would be the boost of energy that this series needs, and it’s a role Gadot is well-suited to return to as her other franchise prospects grow grim.