EXCLUSIVE: Might Vin Diesel direct Furious 8? The actor, who came from nothing and is now one of the biggest movies stars on the planet with (some criticize) a sense of self-worth to match, is looking at a career with three big franchises in the mix — Furious 8, xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage and another Guardians Of The Galaxy. While he just finished work on Billy Lynn’s Big Halftime Walk for director Ang Lee at TriStar, all eyes are on the directing gig for Furious 8. The actor just posted that maybe mother knows best and he should be the one to direct Furious 8.
Here’s the post:
It is no secret that my good friend Justin and I have been very intensely discussing the trilogy, as we have dreamed it for almost a decade. We know that when we re-team we will shock the world. It is also no secret that he is finishing Trek for JJ and won’t be done in time for us to make the date the studio wanted me to announce of April 14th 2017.
This would leave 8 without an obvious go to director…
I will share something crazy that my mother said six months ago after the studio had me announce the date for 8 to the world… “ Either you direct 8 yourself… or don’t do it.” Some of you vinbook pioneers are all too familiar with my mother’s wisdom, as I have posted her sayings in the past on Our page… but I wrote it off as just a mother’s love and belief in me, though she has seen first hand what I’ve done to make these movies defy expectations and become increasingly successful, even when the studio thought I was crazy… haha.
Back to the matter of 8… First and most importantly is the SCRIPT, which has to be great. Hopefully the writer will deliver something within the next two weeks… before my Witch Hunter press tour begins. There has always been the desire by Paul to have Rob direct one more, this is what fueled my campaign… I believe that he can and would reset the franchise nicely, returning to what was the core of the film in the beginning… racing. He would also handle the Brian O’connor issue with integrity, given that he and David Ayer were the ones who initially created that beloved character in the first place.
Ultimately we all want the best film to honor what we have created and what you the audience has adopted as your favorite franchise. I will leave this matter in the studios hands for a moment while I release The Last Witch Hunter and start production of the long awaited “Xander Returns”.
Again, we make these films with Our hearts.
According to sources, there has been a lot of back and forth on just who is right to direct the next in the multibillion-dollar franchise — this is going to be a trilogy. That has led to some big disagreements.
Diesel not only has the reputation for being loyal to his Furious family — and clearly they all consider each other family after working side by side in the trenches on so many films — he has also earned the rep as being very detail-oriented, a trait some refer to as “controlling.”
“Vin Diesel has been very controlling in this process,” said one person with knowledge of the meetings between the producers and the studio. Added another, “He’s just being Vin. He wants control over everything, but he’s not in control, the studio is. It’s their money. That being said, I’m sure it will work out.”
Sources say that Diesel has thought about having his old pal Rob Cohen back in the director’s chair, but Deadline was told by sources inside the studio earlier this week that it’s not gonna happen. One of the last posts Diesel put on Facebook was a picture of he and his friend, the late Paul Walker, with Cohen, who directed the first film in the franchise and introduced Diesel to Walker. Cohen, of course, is considered one of the most decent guys in town.
The word around town is that the studio was looking at both Justin Lin (who has directed previous films in the franchise) and James Wan, but because of scheduling conflicts both of those directors wouldn’t work out. Now Deadline is hearing possibly Ericson Core — one of the Furious family (he was a cinematographer on the first Fast And The Furious) — or Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me, Clash Of The Titans, The Incredible Hulk) is being looked at for the gig.
Sources note that there is a little bit of work to do yet on the script, but that a director hire is a couple of weeks away. Diesel has taken to Facebook to talk about the behind-the-scenes machinations in the following posts:
His next post was the photo of he and Walker and Cohen.