“Furious” star and producer Vin Diesel posted a photo of himself with Gray on his official Facebook page, hinting that the director was set to take the reins of Universal’s lucrative action franchise. On Monday, it emerged that the studio had narrowed the field down to four directors, including Gray, “The Guest’s” Adam Wingard, “Now You See Me” helmer Louis Leterrier and Will Eubank. Universal had no comment on Gray’s status or Diesel’s post.
If chosen, Gray will take over from James Wan, who directed “Furious 7.” Before that, the franchise was ushered into its most lucrative period by Justin Lin, who helmed installments three through six. Rob Cohen directed the first film in the series, 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious,” while John Singleton directed its first sequel, “2 Fast, 2 Furious.”
Production is set to begin in spring of 2016 but pre-production was expected to start next month, necessitating a speedy decision.
Sources had told Variety that Gray was in the running for Marvel’s “Black Panther” but Gray’s meeting with Diesel seems to have swayed the director to join the eighth “Furious” film.
Gray’s “Straight Outta Compton” has earned more than $150 million at the domestic box office to date.
He is repped by UTA.