11:45am PT by Rebecca Ford, Pamela McClintock
Vin Diesel Unlikely to Direct 'Furious 8'
Vin Diesel took to his Facebook to weigh in on the search for a director for Furious 8, suggesting he is the right choice for the high-profile gig.
The often-outspoken actor and producer told fans that his mother had recently told him, "Either you direct 8 yourself... or don’t do it.” Diesel goes on to say he wrote off her comments as "just a mother’s love and belief" in him, but did add that she has witnessed what he'd done to "make these movies defy expectations and become increasingly successful, even when the studio thought I was crazy."
But, according to insiders, it looks unlikely that the star will get to take a seat in the director's chair anytime soon. An insider says the studio isn't happy with Diesel's post, or the notion that he might direct. “It is never going to happen,” says the insider.
As The Hollywood Reporter reported, the search for a new director for the franchise has not been easy. James Wan, who helmed Furious 7, chose not to return to take on the eighth installment, instead signing on to direct Conjuring 2.
As THR reported, the two-year shoot for Furious 7, which included a delay and rewrites after the death of Paul Walker, was so challenging that it actually compromised Wan's health. Sources say Diesel proved extraordinarily difficult, questioning even small details on elaborate action sequences, often holding up the complex production.
THR also reported that Diesel, who must be consulted on director choices but does not have veto power over the studio, has had an eye on directing one of the franchise films, a point now confirmed by Diesel's Facebook post. His post also states that Diesel had been hoping that Rob Cohen, who helmed 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, would be coming back to direct again, but sources say he isn't in the running for the job.
Universal had no comment on Diesel's post. Sources say the script, by Chris Morgan, is still being finished up, at which point producers will look toward officially hiring a director.
Read Diesel's Facebook post below.
It is no secret that my good friend Justin and I have been very intensely discussing the trilogy, as we have dreamed it for almost a decade. We know that when we re-team we will shock the world. It is also no secret that he is finishing Trek for JJ and won’t be done in time for us to make the date the studio wanted me to announce of April 14th 2017.
This would leave 8 without an obvious go to director…
I will share something crazy that my mother said six months ago after the studio had me announce the date for 8 to the world… “ Either you direct 8 yourself... or don’t do it.” Some of you vinbook pioneers are all too familiar with my mother’s wisdom, as I have posted her sayings in the past on Our page… but I wrote it off as just a mother’s love and belief in me, though she has seen first hand what I've done to make these movies defy expectations and become increasingly successful, even when the studio thought I was crazy... haha.
Back to the matter of 8… First and most importantly is the SCRIPT, which has to be great. Hopefully the writer will deliver something within the next two weeks… before my Witch Hunter press tour begins. There has always been the desire by Paul to have Rob direct one more, this is what fueled my campaign… I believe that he can and would reset the franchise nicely, returning to what was the core of the film in the beginning... racing. He would also handle the Brian O’connor issue with integrity, given that he and David Ayer were the ones who initially created that beloved character in the first place.
Ultimately we all want the best film to honor what we have created and what you the audience has adopted as your favorite franchise. I will leave this matter in the studios hands for a moment while I release The Last Witch Hunter and start production of the long awaited “Xander Returns”.
Again, we make these films with Our hearts.