One of the best things about the Fast & Furious franchise, right up there with its ability to pick up new action stars for each movie like a NOS-powered neon snowball barreling down a mountain and its reliance on turbocharged cars flying through the sky in defiance of gravity or reason, is that just about every time a new one is getting ready for release, Vin Diesel hops in front of a camera and starts making wild claims about the movie winning an Oscar. It’s delightful. He did it with both Fast Five and Furious 7, saying of the latter “It will probably win Best Picture at the Oscars, unless the Oscars don’t want to be relevant ever” and “This will win Best Picture. There is nothing that will ever come close to the power of this thing.” Those are real quotes! Look them up!
Anyway, this brings us to Vin’s recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, and when the subject of new director F. Gary Gray came up, well…
“As bizarre as that might be, he is definitely going to [be recognized],” Diesel said. “As crazy as that might sound, he should have really been acknowledged for Straight Outta Compton. I think he went into making this movie with a little bit of a chip [on his shoulder], going ‘Oh, really? Now I’m going to take the biggest saga in the world, and I’m about to throw Oscars at you.’ Wait until you see what he does!”
There’s a part of this that’s fair, which is that Gray did kind of get snubbed a bit with Straight Outta Compton. It’s reasonable to think that would influence his work on his next big project (one that Vin says will be “very dark” and “different” from the other films in the franchise). Cool. With you so far, Vin. But then you get to the next part, in which he refers to the series as “the biggest saga in the world,” and it’s like, yup, there’s the Vin Diesel I know and love. He’s either the biggest optimist in the world or a teeny bit delusional, and it doesn’t matter to me one iota because now I want him to be right, just to see snobby film-types react to a world where this happens.