Turns out the rumors are true, as Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray is set to direct the next installment in the Fast and Furious series, beating out a shortlist of other filmmakers for the role.
Expectations are certainly high for Gray, considering the critical and commercial success of Straight Outta Compton, another Universal-produced project, as well as the fact that Fast and Furious 8 will be the first film in the franchise (excluding Tokyo Drift) not to feature the late Paul Walker. Furious 7 director James Wan notably declined to return for the next film partly because of the struggles associated with finishing Furious 7 in the wake of Walker’s untimely death in November 2013.
Walker had gone on record before his death as stating that he wanted to see Rob Cohen, the director of 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, return to make Fast and Furious 8 (a sentiment that Vin Diesel also echoed recently). Given Gray’s recent accomplishments though, it’s safe to assume that the film is in more than capable hands despite Cohen not taking the job.
Fast and Furious 8 is currently scheduled for release on April 14, 2017. Gray took to Twitter himself to make the announcement