3 Directors Named on ‘Fast and Furious 8′ Shortlist

By October 5, 2015
fast and furious vin diesel featured image

Jeff Sneider, my illustrious co-host on Meet the Movie Press, has a habit of dropping speculative hints throughout the show that, 9 times out of 10, relate to something cooking in the movie news arena. Today is one of those days where his hints have born fruit. Again.

You see, last week, we discussed the possible director choices that make sense in continuing the Fast and Furious franchise over at Universal. The eighth movie in the series is a no brainer, seeing as Furious 7 made over a billion dollars world-wide. With Universal offering, most likely, a truck load of money for Furious 7 director James Wan to return, the offer was allegedly refused so Wan could go off and film The Conjuring 2 and then Aquaman for DC and Warner Bros.

Universal then turned to Justin Lin, who helmed parts 3 through 6 to great success. Lin chose to boldly go where he hadn’t gone before, taking on Star Trek Beyond (the third in the rebooted Star Trek franchise) over at Paramount, leaving Vin Diesel to his own devices (social media). You see Vin has a penchant for testing the waters with his social media accounts, oftentimes dropping names and/or hints to see what an audience might think. Lately, the most recognizable face of the franchise has even dropped clues that seem to tease himself as the director… But now, thanks to Sneider over at TheWrap, Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray has emerged as an apparent frontrunner.

According to Sneider’s report:

“Hot off the success of Straight Outta Compton, F. Gary Gray has emerged as the frontrunner to direct the next chapter in he Fast and Furious franchise for Universal Pictures, an individual familiar with the studio’s search has told TheWrap.” 

This would make total and complete success as Gary Gray is part of the Universal Family; having delivered an epic biopic to the studio this past summer in Compton. F. Gary Gray is seasoned, passionate, and ready for a big stage the Furious franchise has to offer.

But the plot thickens. Soon after TheWrap’s report, The Hollywood Reporter floated the possibility of THREE directors up for the coveted gig:


F. Gary Gray, the man behind its surprise commercial and critical hit Straight Outta Compton, who also has Diesel experience, having directed the actor in 2003’s action thriller A Man Apart;

Louis Leterrier, the experienced action man who counts The Incredible Hulk, The Transporter and Now You See Me as his credits;

Adam Wingard, the filmmaker behind cult genre hits such as The Guest and who, like Wan, has a background in horror with movies such as You’re Next and segments of anthology movies The ABC’s of Death and V/H/S 2.

As you can see, the two reports share one name in common, F. Gary Gray. The other two, Leterrier and Wingard are also perfect for the position, with Wingard one of the standouts for me. His two movies, The Guest and It Follows were masterful additions to his resume (with It Follows being one of the best horror movies in years).

In the end, I prefer (and hope for) F. Gary Gray to take on the job. With TheWrap saying he is the frontrunner, I imagine there are those within Universal pulling for him after Compton scored with audiences and critics alike. My money is also on Gray for this reason alone.

However, in THR’s report, it is stressed that all three of their names still have to meet with Vin Diesel, the “steward” of the franchise, before a decision can be made.

As the meetings are said to be happening soon, I imagine we will be getting confirmation sooner rather than later as this is a billion dollar franchise we are dealing with. Universal, I’m sure, wants to strike while the iron is hot.

As always, keep checking back here for more updates on all things Fast and Furious — right here on GeekNation!

Mark Reilly
Born a geek a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away - Tustin, CA - Reilly is a seasoned writer and producer with over twenty years experience in the film industry. He is the co-host of 'Far, Far Away' here on GeekNation as well as 'Meet the Movie Press' on the Popcorn Talk Network; which airs live every Friday morning at 9am pst. Tweet him at @Reillyaround