The director tweeted Thursday that he has come on board to helm the next installment of the series, which begins filming next year.
Diesel is back to star along with Dwayne Johnson, Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson. Jason Statham and Kurt Russell are also expected to return.
Diesel is also producing along with Neal Moritz.
Universal, along with Diesel and Moritz, were focused on the search for their next director after “Furious 7” helmer James Wan decided not to helm the eighth installment. Universal went back to Justin Lin, who had previously helmed four of the installments, but his schedule conflicts with “Star Trek 3” forced him to fall out of the running.
Other helmers who were in talks included “The Signal’s” Will Eubank, “The Guest’s” Adam Wingard and Louis Leterrier. Diesel posted on his Facebook Tuesday night that he had met with Gray and was hopeful the helmer would join the shoot, but no deal was made at the time.
Gray had become one of the hottest helmers in town after successfully bringing the N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton” to life. The film not only overperformed at the box office (more than $150 million on a $20 million budget), but drew critical acclaim, so much so that it’s drumming up Oscar buzz.
Gray is repped by UTA, Principato-Young and attorney Nina Shaw.