Friday, October 9, 2015

'Straight Outta Compton' filmmaker F. Gary Gray to direct 'Furious 8'

Even though this year's Furious 7 was advertised with the tagline "One Last Ride," you had to know that if the film was a box office success, we would be seeing many more Fast and Furious films. And the seventh installment in the racing franchise was more than just a mere success. The film grossed $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office, enough to make it the fifth highest grossing film of all time. Despite the tragic loss of star Paul Walker, Universal had too much money left to make in the Fast universe for them to just move on from the franchise. However, the question of how to continue the series became the biggest question. Early on, Universal set an April 14, 2017 release date for the film, and everyone knew that Vin Diesel would be back in some shape or form, but little else was known about the state of the film. There was a dramatic report for The Hollywood Reporter a few weeks back that stated that Universal had offered Furious 7 director James Wan "life-altering money" to come back and direct, but he declined. Diesel was also difficult the last time around, and there were fears that his perfectionist personality would end up in the director's chair for chapter eight. Alas, that will not be the case as one of Hollywood's hottest directors has joined the project.

F. Gary Gray, the director of the August sleeper hit Straight Outta Compton, has signed on to direct the eighth installment in the franchise. Gray joins producer/star Diesel, as well as Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, who will be reprising their roles as Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, respectively. While there is little news on the state of the script, Diesel has made it clear in the past that for this go-around, he wants to take the action to New York. In addition to the previously mentioned cast members, it's likely that Kurt Russell, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris will be back for this flick. In my mind, Gray is the perfect pick to helm this film, and I think that he'll do a phenomenal job. Straight Outta Compton is still one of the year's best films and the visceral intensity that he brought to the rap biopic will translate well to the Furious franchise. I'm curious to know where the story goes from here, but hiring Gray is a good start. Furious 8 will debut on April 14, 2017.

Image Credits: Screen Rant

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