It’ll be very interesting to see where director F. Gary Gray and franchise star/producer Vin Diesel go with Furious 8. After the passing of Paul Walker, many loyal fans favored the idea of closing the franchise. Personally, I’m glad to see these films continue. The scale and success of Fast and Furious has only gotten bigger and bigger. Also, lets not forget the focus of these films since Fast Five has become more about family, rather than just one person. That’s just my opinion, and hopefully Gray and Diesel present us with something that’ll continue to entertain all fans of the franchise.
As for the scope of Furious 8, that’s a question even the most passionate fans are asking. The previous films took our characters around the globe confronting all sorts of insane dangers. We’re also introduced to a number of new characters on both sides, who could be returning in future films (Jason Statham, Kurt Russell). How should Furious 8 be approached? Should Gray put his focus on exploring new characters, or increasing the scope of these action set pieces even more? Collider asked the director recently…
“It’s a combination of both. When you look at someone like J.J. Abrams who gives you the spectacle and great action set pieces but also gives you character and plotting and narrative, I think it’s my job—and my intention—to do both. You amp up everything, you work on the performances, you work on the story, you work on the action; it’s just not one thing. Hopefully I bring more to it, that’s part of the point is to bring something different to the franchise while still satisfying what the fans want.”
Gray’s comments are very encouraging, because he seems to understand what’s expected of him. As the director of the eighth film in the franchise, Gray will no doubt have to add his own spin to this newest film. Previously, Justin Lin turned the franchise into an action-heavy heist film. James Wan kept with the same tone and added his camera techniques to heighten the action sequences. Gray has an advantage with his previous film. I really liked what he did with Straight Outta Compton, with all the terrific performances and ability to explore those real-life characters. The Fast and Furious films offer no shortage of awesome and lovable characters, which should benefit Gray. There’s also been talks of grounding the franchise a bit more going forward, which could be a good move considering all the jokes going around about Fast and Furious heading to space. In my opinion, Gray is the perfect choice for this new direction and I’m excited to see what he’ll do.
Furious 8 has a release date of April 14, 2017