Cipher is making her return to the Fast and Furious universe. Actress Charlize Theron has confirmed her return in Fast & Furious 9, and she'll be rocking a new look this time around. It has been reported several times that Theron would be making her second trip to the franchise in this entry but this is the first time that the Oscar-winner has confirmed the news personally, which just firms things up a bit. The real question is, what does this mean for the story?

First off, let's start with the goods. Charlize Theron took to Instagram to share a couple of photos from the set of Fast & Furious 9, which has been filming for several weeks now. She shared an image of her chair, which says "Cipher" on it, but the more compelling photo shows Theron with a much shorter hairdo, almost like a stylish bowl cut. That is markedly different than last time around, when Cipher had a head full of long, blonde dreadlocks. Theron captioned the photos with the following.

"She's baaaaack #Fast9"

It's not remotely surprising to have a big name actress return to a multi-billion dollar franchise, but this does raise some questions. Cipher was the big bad in the previous entry, The Fate of the Furious, and she was able to turn Vin Diesel's Dom against his Fast family. So one would imagine that Cipher's return, at least initially, would be met with some hostility from our core set of characters. But one has to wonder, could Cipher find herself on a path to redemption? Given the history of this series, it's not at all hard to imagine.

Fast & Furious 6 contained a post-credit scene that retconned Tokyo Drift and showed us that Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw killed Sung Kang's Han. Yet, over the course of the last couple of entries, The Fate of the Furious and the recently released, spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw, Statham's character has been fully redeemed on screen. This, despite the fact that many fans still want just for justice for Han, which it's worth noting is something franchise writer Chris Morgan has promised will come at some point. In any event, the character arc for Deckard Shaw has paved the way for something similar to potentially take place with Cipher, should the filmmakers choose to go that route.

Related: First Fast & Furious 9 Cast Photo Celebrates Michelle Rodriguez's Birthday

Plot details for the sequel currently remain under wraps. Whatever goes down, Dwayne Johson's Luke Hobbs, who first joined the series in Fast Five, won't be involved. The cast also includes Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Helen Mirren, John Cena, Michael Rooker and UFC star Francis Ngannou. Just Lin, who directed four previous entries in the franchise, returns after sitting out the last couple of action-packed adventures. Fast & Furious 9 is set to arrive in theaters on May 22, 2020. Be sure to check out the post from Charlize Theron's Instagram for yourself.

Ryan Scott