For a guy who has been away from the filmmaking game for six years, F. Gary Gray is making a heckuva comeback. This summer, the director was behind the camera on the smash hit “Straight Outta Compton,” his first movie since 2009’s “Law Abiding Citizen,” and the success of the movie has opened some pretty big doors.
Mere hours after it was announced that he was shortlisted for the job alongside Louis Leterrier, Adam Wingard, and William Eubank, THR revealed very late last night that Gray was chosen and entered talks with Universal to direct “Furious 8.” It’s not a big surprise given Gray was already on Universal’s radar thanks to ‘Compton,’ and he’s got blockbuster experience under his belt as well, particularly in the realm of making cars move, as he showed with 2003’s “The Italian Job.”
Meanwhile, Variety reports that Gray is also a contender for “Black Panther” over at Marvel, another big project. It’s not clear if the comic studio is looking at anyone else or if conversations have actually started with Gray, but it certainly speaks to how high his profile has risen in just a couple of months.
Theoretically, he could do both movies back to back, since “Furious 8” hits in the spring of 2017 and “Black Panther” in the summer of 2018. But that would be quite a workload for the next three years, and he may not want to shoulder all of that. However, for a guy who hadn’t made a feature in more than half a decade prior to ‘Compton,’ being busy may just be exactly what he wants.