For one thing co-president of production Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, who helped to put the franchise together and oversaw Furious 7 in the wake of the death of Paul Walker, is no longer working on the films. “Insiders confirm that the $200 million, two-year production of Furious 7 was so demanding that it actually compromised Wan’s health”.
Apart from xXx saying, “I want all that in here”, Vin Diesel is mostly untested as a director. And Universal says Wan was never even in the mix for the job. Unfortunately, Wan requested to bow out in order to direct the sequel to his 2013 horror film, “The Conjuring“, which is produced by New Line Cinema.
But the actor’s camp denied such allegations, shrugging any suggestion about Diesel being hard to work with as “complete nonsense”. The current pitch has Furious 8 taking place in New York City, which would bring Ms. Rodriguez back home for the first time since Girl Fight (2000). Chris Pratt and all his dino friends won’t be hitting the home entertainment market until October 20, so there’s no telling quite yet whether Furious 7 can hold its newfound title, but they sure will get to keep it for at least another month.
But even so, it sounds like that there might be some drama stirring where the issues may not be as dire as this report suggests.
But according to THR, searching for a director isn’t the only issue left facing Universal, as sources claim Vin Diesel has proven to be more of a hindrance as the franchise has worn on.
The studio is now putting out feelers to agents to look for the ideal director for the sequel among a range of newbie helmers as well as “Non-Stop” director Jaume Collet-Serra. That doesn’t inspire much hope, to be honest. Regardless, he remains involved as a producer on the series and must be consulted on director choices, though he does not have veto power.
According to sources, Diesel, who directed “Los Bandoleros“, an 18-minute short back in 2009, seems to be interested in stepping up as director for the upcoming film. Neal Moritz, a producer tied in with the Fast and the Furious franchise, has stated that “his character has…moved on”, and the next installment, Furious 8, is going to be part of a trilogy.