We're all very excited for the eighth installment in the "Fast and Furious" franchise, but there's reportedly one big hitch stopping Universal from popping the clutch and ripping into gear on production: they don't have a director.
James Wan helped Universal enjoy commercial success as the winningest studio of the summer on "Furious 7," shattering box office records. However, he's opted to return to his horror roots and direct a sequel to "The Conjuring" instead of moving forward on "Furious 8." This is because, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the production of "Furious 7" was incredibly taxing. A high-octane, big-budget actioner would be stressful enough, but add to that the sudden passing of your lead actor (Paul Walker) and the rewrites, reshoots and creative special effects necessary to finish the film without him -- and you've got one tired director.
Unnamed sources also told the Reporter that Wan had friction with producer/actor Vin Diesel, though reps for both denied this. Diesel has been a producer on "Fast and Furious" as well as the fifth, sixth, seventh and upcoming eighth installments of the movie. Unnamed sources also reportedly worried that Diesel would want to throw his hat into the ring for directing, as well.
Which...is not such a crazy idea, is it?
He's already directed a (short) film in the franchise.
Sure, it was the short "Los Bandoleros," but the 18-minute film, which set up his character Dom's return to the movies, was no slouch. Why not take the cred he earned with that and try his hand at a whole movie?
He's the face of the "Fast" series.
Diesel is the undisputed champion of the "Fast" franchise. When filmmakers decided to start production of "Furious 7" after Walker's passing, Diesel was the one who stepped up to tell fans. Diesel has been the one to accept the awards and sing "See You Again" (on more than one occasion). Dude even named his daughter Pauline after his late co-star. Why shouldn't he be in charge on the next one?
Nobody knows these characters better than he does.Universal
Diesel has been reportedly particular about his character's lines and motivations, and has been the one thus far to tease out details about "Furious 8." He knows these characters inside and out, and we wouldn't doubt that he already has an elaborate story idea plotted out for them.
So, what do you think? Should Diesel direct "Furious 8"?
"Furious 8" is slated to hit theaters April 14, 2017.