EXCLUSIVE: STXfilms has set F. Gary Gray to direct Vin Diesel in the action-comedy Muscle, which will be Gray’s next film and will shoot later this year. Reginald Hudlin and Byron Phillips are producing alongside Diesel and Samantha Vincent for One Race Films. Gray will be executive producer through his Fenix Studios banner.
Diesel and Gray developed a rapport making 2017’s The Fate of the Furious, a film that grossed more than $1.2 billion in global box office. The latest draft of Muscle is by John Swetnam and Malcolm Spellman. The original script was written by Scott Taylor & Wesley Jermaine Johnson. The film’s log line is being kept under wraps.
“There are few directors who can match Gary’s skill with character, comedy and big action, which is why he is one of the most accomplished and in-demand directors working today,” said Adam Fogelson, chairman of STXfilms Motion Picture Group. “Over the years, Vin and I have worked together on a number of hit movies, and it’s a thrill to reteam Vin and Gary after their billion-dollar success on The Fate of the Furious. This will become one of the most eagerly anticipated films on our slate.”
Diesel also starred in Gray’s 2003 action thriller A Man Apart.
Muscle will be overseen by STX’s Drew Simon and Kevin Sauer. Straight Outta Compton helmer Gray, who is also developing to direct Saints Row, and M.A.S.K. for Paramount and Hasbro, is repped by UTA and attorney Nina Shaw; Diesel, who’ll next be seen starring in the ninth film in the Fast & Furious franchise and is coming off Bloodshot, is repped by CAA and Linden Entertainment.
Muscle adds to an STX slate that includes the Kristen Bell-Vince Vaughn-starrer Queenpins, a new action film directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Jason Statham, Hugh Grant, and Aubrey Plaza; The Marsh King’s Daughter, starring Daisy Ridley and directed by Neil Burger; American Sole, starring Pete Davidson, O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Bad Bunny; the Jennifer Lopez starrer Godmother; the Dave Bautista starrer Universe’s Most Wanted; and the Chris Pine starrer Violence of Action.