You may remember that The Hollywood Reporter ran a long piece recently about how Vin Diesel, who is a producer on the Fast/Furious franchise, was making it hard for Universal to find a director for Furious 8. Diesel is “said to have questioned even small details on elaborate action sequences … [and] known to summon filmmakers to repeated late-night script sessions to make him comfortable with his character and dialogue.”
Today, news from Vin Diesel’s Incredible Facebook Page™ seemed to suggest Vin is considering directing this himself:
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.
In the immortal words of Tyrese, this just went from Mission: Impossible to Mission: In Freakin’ Sanity.
Does any of this mean Vin Diesel actually has a shot at directing? With Diesel, you have to try to read between the ellipses. His folksy, wise old mom isn’t a producer, so that’s a major roadblock. While I was finishing this post, in fact, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Diesel is “unlikely to direct.” (Duh).
An insider says the studio isn’t happy with Diesel’s post, or the notion that he might direct. “It is never going to happen,” said the insider.
Elsewhere, Deadline puked up a few other possibilities:
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. […] 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.
Leterrier’s movies have all been pretty terrible so far, but Ericson Core directed the Point Break remake, which does seem to have a Furious 7 sensibility. But who are we kidding. We all know what we really want.
Dear Universal: Please make Vin Diesel the director and give Vin Diesel’s heart full creative control. There’s nothing the world needs more right now than a $200-million The Room-style Fast and Furious fan-fiction directed by an out-of-control superstar who has very clear ideas about What Fast And Furious Means To Him. Are you kidding? I would pay $100 for a ticket to Furious 8: This One’s For Pablo. $150 if Vin sings the entire soundtrack.
Vince Mancini is a writer and comedian living in San Francisco. A graduate of Columbia’s non-fiction MFA program, his work has appeared on FilmDrunk, the UPROXX network, the Portland Mercury, the East Bay Express, and all over his mom’s refrigerator. Fan FilmDrunk on Facebook, find the latest movie reviews here.