After two decades of starring in action films, and practically being the face of the blockbuster Fast and Furious franchise, it’s easy to forget that, once upon a time, Vin Diesel started his career as an indie director. But in an interview with The National, Diesel revealed that there’s one Hollywood legend who still remembers the gravely-voiced actor’s early days, and he apparently has some strong feelings about it:
“Speaking of Steven Spielberg, I saw him recently, and he had said to me, ‘When I wrote the role for you in Saving Private Ryan, I was obviously employing the actor, but I was also secretly championing the director in you, and you have not directed enough. That is a crime of cinema and you must get back in the directing chair,” Diesel says.
Before he stormed the beaches of Normandy in Spielberg’s World War II epic, Diesel had already directed two indie films: Multi-Facial (1995) and Strays (1997). As the legend goes, it was Multi-Facial that landed him on Spielberg’s radar, which is a pretty impressive move considering it was Diesel’s first film as both a writer and a director. Most indie debuts don’t instantly translate into a massive blockbuster career right out of the gate.
Although, if Spielberg is hoping Diesel will make a return to smaller, more intimate fare, the Riddick actor has one specific project in mind if he ever returns to the director’s chair: a trilogy based on the famed Roman general Hannibal Barca:
“I haven’t done it yet. As much as I am grateful for the accomplishments, there are moments when I go ‘God, you promised the universe, very specifically, the Hannibal Barca trilogy, and you haven’t delivered it. You travelled all over the world’.
“I was in Egypt, in Tunisia, I was in Spain. I crossed the Alps where Hannibal did. I did so much research for this, but I still haven’t carved out the time to do it,” Diesel says.
For now, Diesel is still very content with his life as a blockbuster star to the point where he considers it a personal mission to star in films like Bloodshoot and Furious 9. “You are protecting that thing that might not be here forever, and that’s that cinematic social experience.”
(Via The National)