11:09pm PT by Borys Kit
F. Gary Gray Enters Exclusive Talks to Direct 'Fast and Furious 8'
Straight out of Compton and straight into Fast and Furious.
After an intense search, Universal has settled on F. Gary Gray, the helmer behind its summer hit Straight Outta Compton, to direct Fast and Furious 8, and sources say Gray has told the studio he's ready to initiate negotiations for a deal. Gray was chosen over such directors as Louis Leterrier, Adam Wingard and William Eubank.
The search for a director was necessary after efforts to convince Furious 7 director James Wan to return for No. 8 proved unsuccessful. The search went public after THR reported on the difficulty in finding a director and star, and Furious producer Vin Diesel took to Facebook to plug both himself and Rob Cohen, who directed the 2001 original movie, as possible candidates. On Monday, Gray met with Diesel, who does not have director approval rights but is consulted on all major decisions involving the franchise. After the meeting, Diesel posted a photo of himself with a smiling Gray on his Facebook page. The duo were posed in front of numerous Fast and Furious images.
In Gray, Furious 8 is getting a filmmaker who can juggle intense, over-the-top action sequences with some of the intense, over-the-top personalities working in front of the camera. That includes Diesel, who worked with Gray on 2003's action drama A Man Apart. Gray's credits include thrillers and action movies such as The Italian Job, The Negotiator and Law Abiding Citizen.
This summer's Compton was a passion project years in the making. The movie opened to strong reviews, and audiences followed, to the tune of over $160 million domestically.
Gray is repped by UTA and Principato Young. Diesel's post is below.