‘Straight Outta Compton’ Director F. Gary Gray Likely To Helm ‘Furious 8’

That was quick. Less than a week after actor and producer Vin Diesel hinted on his Facebook page that he was more than willing to direct the 8th installment of the Fast franchise after the search for James Wan’s replacement was yielding no results – Diesel updated his page with a very telling photo. The pic features him and Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray with smiles on their faces, sitting behind the backdrop of a board populated with images from the past Fast and Furious films.

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This recent development confirms that the other directors that were in the running (Louis Leterrier, Adam Wingard, and William Eubank) can go back to business as usual since it’s pretty apparent that Gray has been anointed with the task of taking one of the most lucrative franchises in the world to the next frontier.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources have confirmed that the director responsible for action hits like The Italian Job, The Negotiator and A Man Apart which Diesel starred in back in 2003, has officially expressed interest and is currently in the negotiation phase.

Based on his vibrant portfolio that recently gained him even more notoriety after his stunning success with this summer’s criticaly-acclaimed Straight Outta Compton, a huge moneymaker for Universal – the same studio that also rode the massive waves brought on by the global juggernaut – Furious 7 – Gary should be able to handle the intricate chaos that comes with helming a huge studio movie that has already amassed a huge following and requires renderings of a masterful storyteller who fully grasps what is at stake both behind and in front of the cameras.

It also helps that both Diesel and Gary have collaborated in the past, which should make the transition a little less bumpy. Still, with all the major adjustments that the franchise has endured in the past couple of years – including the untimely passing of Paul Walker in 2013, who played the beloved role of Brian O’Connor – there is still an air of uncertainty as to whether or not the franchise will be able to gracefully bow out with the remaining films in the saga without any further derailment.