With “Furious 7” helmer James Wan focused on “The Conjuring” sequel and “Fast and Furious” 3-6 helmer Justin Lin dealing with “Star Trek Beyond,” Universal Pictures is facing a dilemma – who can they can get to direct the proposed “Furious 8”.
THR reports that with an April 2017 release date set, screenwriter Chris Morgan is still working on the script and the studio has yet to find a director.
Wan was reportedly offered “life-altering money” to return to direct at least one more instalment, but the stress of the two-year production of “Furious 7” apparently compromised Wan’s health so don’t expect him back anytime soon.
Two complications are said to be slowing the process – the exit of series overseer and studio co-president of production Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, and star-producer Vin Diesel who has reportedly proved extraordinarily difficult due to him questioning small details on elaborate sequences, and repeated late-night script sessions to make him comfortable with his character.
Diesel’s spokesperson has denied those claims as “complete nonsense” and Wan’s rep denies any on-set friction. Diesel reportedly doesn’t have veto power over studio picks for the job, but must be consulted and may even have the ambition of directing an entry himself.
Whomever takes the gig has the unenviable job of following up this year’s box-office giant that has raked in $1.5 billion so far.