Confirmed: 'Straight Outta Compton' Filmmaker To Direct 'Furious 8'

This year's Furious 7 pulled in over $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office, but Furious 8 has yet to find a director despite a release date set for April 14th, 2017. But a director for the eighth installment of the popular car heist series has been hard to nail down. Earlier this we reported that Universal Pictures had narrowed their Fast and Furious 8 director search to three finalists. But now Straight Outta Compton filmmaker F. Gary Gray confirms he has signed on to direct Furious 8.

F. Gary Gray confirmed he has signed on to direct Furious 8 by posting the above photo and message on Twitter: "Cant ask for better partners than Vin, Neal & Universal. Excited to bring u the next chapter of the #FastFamily saga " Our original story which ran with the headline 'Straight Outta Compton' Filmmaker Enters Exclusive Talks To Direct 'Furious 8' on October 5th 2015 at 11:30pm follows:

ZZ24D90741THR has confirmed that Universal has settled on F. Gary Gray to direct Fast and Furious 8, and sources say "Gray has told the studio he wishes to initiate negotiations for a deal." Gray met with Vin Diesel on Monday and the Fast & Furious star posted a photo on Facebook of himself with a smiling Gray in front of Fast and Furious images (seen above).

I'm disappointed that Adam Wingard didn't get this gig as I think he would have the potential to make a much more interesting movie. F. Gary Gray has proven himself to be capable of handling a big film with big stars, and he also has experience working with Vin Diesel on the 2003 film A Man Apart.

Furious 8 director problems

Our original story about the long road to find a Furious 8 director and the Furious 8 short list from 4pm on October 5th follows. The site previously reported that the following three directors are in contention for the Furious 8 directing gig:

F. Gary GrayF. Gary Gray: the filmmaker who just directed the commercial and critical hit Straight Outta Compton. Gray has been working in Hollywood for two decades now, launching his career with Friday, and has been involved in films ranging from The Negotiator to Be Cool, The Italian Job to Law Abiding Citizen. Gray also has experience working with Vin Diesel on the 2003 film A Man Apart.ZZ31971A77Louis Leterrier: One of the names reported last week, Leterrier is known for his ability to get the job done (which usually doesn't translate to an interesting film). He has a background in action films, such as Marvel Studios/Universal's The Incredible Hulk, The Transporter, and the original Now You See Me. He also directed Unleashed, Clash of the Titans, and the upcoming Sacha Baron Cohen film Grimsby.Adam WingardAdam Wingard: The filmmaker behind indie genre hits such as The Guest, You're Next, and segments of anthology movies The ABC's of Death and V/H/S. Wingard is definitely the most interesting filmmaker in the bunch. A comparison could be made to Furious 7 director James Wan's early career which consisted of horror thrillers like Saw, Insidious and The Conjouring before jumping into the big-budget action arena.

According to the report, all three filmmakers above are set to meet with Diesel and the studio this week for the job. That doesn't necessarily mean that any of these filmmakers will direct Furious 8, as the studio and Diesel could decide to extend the search. But as we stated earlier, the film has an April 2017 flag in the sand and the longer they take finding a director, the less chance they have of making that date.

James Wan and Vera Wang - The Conjuring BTS

Originally, the studio wanted Furious 7 director James Wan to return for the eighth installment of the franchise. The director was even contractually bound to direct the eighth and ninth films in the series, but before the end of production on Furious 7, Wan informed the studio that he was going to direct The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist (which just started shooting) as his next film.

justin lin

The studio then hoped to bring back Justin Lin, who directed the series from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift to Fast & Furious 6. However, the filmmaker decided to helm Star Trek Beyond. The studio went back to Wan with a "life-altering" deal, but James apparently was too exhausted from directing Furious 7 to return for the sequel. (Remember the extended two-year production brought about by the death of Paul Walker, forcing rewrites, reshoots, and more).

William Eubank The Signal

Hollywood trades have reported that Vin Diesel's involvement as a producer has made the films difficult to make (of course, representatives for Diesel say that the claims are "complete nonsense"). Jaume Collet-Serra, director of Liam Neeson's action thriller Non-Stop, and William Eubank, who co-wrote and directed The Signal, were both reportedly in consideration.

Vin Diesel in Furious 7

And there were also rumblings that Vin Diesel may want to direct one of the Fast & Furious films at some point, after directing an 18-minute short film called Los Bandoleros (trailer below) that was created as a way of explaining his character's return in the fourth film of the franchise.