Vin Diesel has provided an update on the next director for Fast & Furious 8 and has even confirmed a final trilogy will close out the successful franchise.
Last week, rumours were rife that Vin Diesel was having trouble finding a new director for the Fast & Furious franchise in the wake of James Wan’s departure. According to Total Film, Diesel was having trouble acquiring a new director because of his hands-on production with the films. Diesel apparently liked to tinker with dialogue and action sequences. Rumours insisted that Wan had been offered “life-changing money” to return after directing Furious 7. However, Wan is still unattached to the franchise.
This week, the producer and star has provided an update on the situation, one that is a little clearer. Diesel has expressed a desire to find the right man for the job, one who can close out the successful franchise with a bang in the form of a trilogy, taking the franchise up to Fast & Furious 10.
On his Facebook page, Diesel had the following to say.
“The fans of the Fast & Furious saga are the best fans in the world. Since I became the producer in 2008, you have been with me every step of the way… literally giving me feedback that proved invaluable. Thank you.”
“My producing partner Neal would love for me to just sign off on a director, but this is too special a franchise, so these matters have to be very carefully handled. To be clear, NO ONE has been offered to helm Fast 8 yet… let alone seen a script.”
“Universal has been so good to me and so trusting of the vision. They have been like family… I promised the studio I would deliver one last trilogy to end the saga. I will announce the directors on my next post…”
The comments above appear to dispute the reports that Wan was offered such a deal to return to the helm of the franchise. Justin Lin was also rumoured at one point, after directing instalments three through six. Despite this, the wheels are rolling once more, and the search for a director is very much in progress.
The Fast & Furious franchise has amassed a huge following over the past 14 years. Since its inception in 2001, the phenomenon has grossed $3.9 billion dollars at the box office across seven films on a budget of $759 million. Its latest instalment in 2015 was overshadowed by the death of Paul Walker, a tragedy that turned the film into a financial juggernaut. Alone, it grossed $1.5 billion. The films final moments were infamously leaked online, showing the emotional farewell of the actors to one of their own.
The franchise has certainly gathered steam. After The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift — the lowest grossing film in the series — the movies were overhauled and rebranded as Fast & Furious in 2009. Since then, the films have included A-list stars such as Dwayne Johnson, Kurt Russell, Jason Statham, and Eva Mendes. It has also ignited careers. One prime example is Gal Gadot, who is now set to debut as Wonder Woman in DC’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It also revived the flagging careers of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, not to mention Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster. MMA fighters Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey also made their transition to film through the franchise.
So, three more movies are on the horizon. When Walker passed away, many thought the franchise would cease. After revealing Walker would want the films to continue and hiring his brothers to assist in finishing Furious 7, not to mention releasing his final film to rapturous acclaim, Fast & Furious looks anything but finished.
If all goes to plan, Fast & Furious 8 will open in the UK and U.S. on April 14, 2017.
[Images – Universal Pictures]