EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has closed Charlize Theron to star in Fast 8, which director F. Gary Gray and producer Neal Moritz move into production next month for release on April 14, 2017. Theron, who’s coming off a memorable action turn in Mad Max: Fury Road, will play a new character in the blockbuster franchise. She’ll join returning stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and the rest of the gang. Chris Morgan wrote the script.

This should excited fans of a franchise that continually adds showy actors to the ensemble and is coming off its biggest-grossing installment to date. Theron always has worked well in the action genre, and she starred for Gray in the 2003 hit remake of The Italian Job.

Theron, whom Deadline wrote is in the early stages of reteaming with her Young Adult compadres director Jason Reitman and scribe Diablo Cody, is repped by WME and lawyered by Steve Warren.