Fast X came out at the start of the summer, and it was...kind of a mess in the worst way. But a genuine bright spot within that mess is Jason Momoa as Dante Reyes, the son of Fast Five’s Hernan Reyes who’s come looking for revenge against Team Toretto. He’s silly, he’s threatening, he’s kind of a gay techno Joker, and Momoa is clearly having a blast playing what’s probably the best villain in a series filled largely with duds.
Over the course of the last movie, Dante effectively shattered the Toretto clan in several different directions, and many of their potential allies (like Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw or Charlize Theron’s Cipher) are scattered or tangled up in their own troubles. With Dante returning as the main villain for Fast XI, director Louis Leterrier promises that he’ll become an even greater threat during the sequel. Talking to Empire Magazine, he teased that they would “do something else” with Dante and his gleeful carnage for the next movie. “It’s never twice the same with Jason,” he continued. “Dante will truly evolve. Let’s explore something we haven’t seen before.”
Leterrier credited Momoa for why Dante works so well, saying the original pitch for the character was just a guy who was “fueled by vengeance.” While it would’ve been easy for the actor to play the role as “dark and angry,” he commended Momoa’s adaptability and willingness to experiment. “It was interesting to play with the duality and the push-pull within the character, where within the same sentence he’s laughing and feels the pain of losing everything. Only an actor like Jason could have done that.” What happens next with the character in Fast XI—and in the eventual second spinoff movie for Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs—will equally depend on Momoa and what direction he feels like taking the character.
What other really evil, hateable things can Dante do after kidnapping Dom’s son, and trying to blow up several of his friends? We’ll find out whenever Fast XI releases in the near future.
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