Well, that narrative turned around fast. As talks swirled that Universal was having trouble locking down a director for “Furious 8,” and that Vin Diesel might want to do it himself, the official line from everybody was that they were waiting for the script to come in before formally going out to any directors. Well, either that screenplay came in over the weekend or everyone is locking to get ahead of the story as a shortlist has now arrived for next helmers to make the cars go boom.
THR reports that Adam Wingard, Louis Leterrier, and F. Gary Gray are the final contenders to helm the picture. Wingard would be the least experienced in terms of making pictures on this scale, but he’s easily the buzziest of the bunch, as the director of the cult faves “You’re Next” and “The Guest.” However, Nat Wolff was recently cast in his brewing “Death Note” at Warner Bros., and it can presumed that Wingard will need to square things with the studio before jumping to Universal to make this, which is due in cinemas in 2017.
Leterrier knows big screen spectacle (“The Transporter,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Clash Of The Titans“) and has a wide open schedule with “Grimsby” starring Sacha Baron Cohen in the can, and awaiting release next year. Meanwhile, Gray has already shown he can make cars go real fast thanks to “The Italian Job,” and right now he’s one of Universal’s golden boys thanks to smash hit “Straight Outta Compton” this summer.
The filmmakers are slated to meet with Diesel and the studio this week, and hopefully one will be chosen. If not, the hunt continues….