Universal has picked F. Gary Gray to direct the eighth installment of their action franchise The Fast And The Furious. The Hollywood Reporter is stating that the Straight Outta Compton helmer has met with franchise star Vin Diesel, who, although he doesn’t have contractual director approval, is still consulted on major decisions such as this by the studio.
The studio had been searching for a replacement ever since Furious 7 director James Wan had declined to return to behind the camera for the next installment. Previously, Diesel had mooted both himself and original franchise director Rob Cohen as possible candidates for the job, while the studio had considered Louis Leterrier, Adam Wingard and William Eubank.
Gray brings with him some strong action chops, having previously directed 2003’s A Man Apart with Diesel, the200 3 remake of The Italian Job, The Negotiator and Law Abiding Citizen.
Diesel posted a picture of himself with Gray on his Facebook page yesterday.
Fast And Furious 8 is scheduled for an April 14, 2017 release.