Just a few days ago, Fast & Furious franchise star Vin Diesel made it clear that he was hoping to see original The Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen return to direct the upcoming Furious 8. Now, the list of filmmakers being considered for the film is reportedly down to four names — and Cohen isn’t one of them.
Variety reports that the current list of contenders for directing duties on Furious 8 has been narrowed down to a quartet of filmmakers that includes both industry veterans and relative newcomers. Among the names on the studio’s list is Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray, whose recent biopic of iconic rap group N.W.A. has been one of the year’s most surprising blockbusters.
Also on the list is Now You See Me and The Transporter director Louis Leterrier, The Signal director Will Eubank, and You’re Next and The Guest director Adam Wingard.
Of the four contenders, Leterrier and Gray have the most experience behind the camera — particularly with high-profile films. Along with Straight Outta Compton, Gray directed the 2003 heist film The Italian Job and the intense 2009 crime drama Law Abiding Citizen. Leterrier has also directed a fair share of action films, chief among them the first two installments of the Transporter franchise (starring Furious 7 actor Jason Statham), 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, and the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans.
It’s worth noting that Gray has also been rumored to be one of the contenders to direct Marvel Studios’ upcoming Black Panther movie, so that could indeed factor into the decision one way or another.
As for Wingard, the director of the 2011 home-invasion horror movie You’re Next and the 2014 thriller The Guest is currently attached to direct an adaptation of the Death Note comic for Warner Bros. next year, so that could factor into his availability for Furious 8.
The final name on the list, Eubank is a relative newcomer with only two feature directing credits on his resume at the moment. His 2014 low-budget sci-fi thriller The Signal was a critical success, but he has yet to handle a film with the blockbuster profile of Furious 8.
Scheduled to hit theaters April 14, 2017, Furious 8 will bring back franchise stars Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. Also expected to reprise their roles are Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Kurt Russell, and Lucas Black. With filming planned for next year, the studio will likely name a director in the near future.