*The “Fast and Furious” franchise is about to be handed to “Straight Outta Compton” director F. Gary Gray.
Universal settled on Gray after an intense search, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and sources say he’s told the studio he’s ready to initiate negotiations for a deal. Gray was reportedly chosen over such directors as Louis Leterrier, Adam Wingard and William Eubank.
The search for a director became necessary after efforts to rehire “Furious 7” director James Wan proved unsuccessful. “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 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.