With “Furious 7” behind them, fans are already eagerly awaiting Vin Diesel’s return as Dominic Toretto in the eighth movie. Unfortunately, the eighth installment in the popular action franchise may have a problem finding a director – especially if it’s planning to honor Paul Walker’s memory the way Diesel intends.
Recently, Diesel took a break from teasing the proper sequel to his 2002 movie “xXx” on Facebook to talk about the directorial issue facing “Furious 8.” The 48-year-old “Witch Hunter” star revealed that his friend and late co-star Paul Walker always had a desire to see Rob Cohen, the director of the first “Fast and the Furious” movie in 2001, return to the franchise for “Furious 8” to help reground both the series and its characters.
“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,” Diesel wrote. “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. “
Diesel and Walker’s fellow co-star, Tyrese Gibson, left a lengthy comment on the post two days later echoing his its sentiments, but preparing fans for the possibility that Cohen’s return might not be possible.
“Before he transitioned, and only a chosen few knew this to be true... For deeper reasons beyond all of our own understandings for years he's been asking Rob Cohen.... My mentor taught me many years ago ‘You can't buy what's not for sale,’” Gibson wrote. “I stand here with both of my brothers - whatever the outcome Pablo will know we went as far as we could to do all that he asked of us.”
Unfortunately, The Hollywood Reporter cites a source that indicates the studio does not have Cohen in the running for the job. As Diesel mentioned, the position would ideally go to director Justin Lin, who directed the third, fourth, fifth and sixth installments in the “Fast and Furious” franchise. Unfortunately, he’s too tied up filling in for J.J. Abrams as the director of the third “Star Trek” movie to make the April 14, 2017 planned release date for “Furious 8” work. Meanwhile, “Furious 7” director, James Wan, decided not to return for the eighth movie in order to work on the sequel to “The Conjuring.”
It’s unclear who the studio is planning to go with, but they’re likely waiting until Chris Morgan finishes the film’s script before any real decisions are made. In his Facebook post, Diesel briefly touched upon the idea of taking a seat in the director’s chair himself for “Furious 8,” but he made it clear that he’s more interested in honoring the wishes of the late Paul Walker.
Would you like to see Vin Diesel or Rob Cohen in the director’s chair for “Furious 8”? Comment your thoughts below or tweet them to @TylerMcCarthy.