F. Gary Gray Confirms That He Will Direct 'Furious 8'

Universal Pictures And Legendary Pictures' Premiere Of "Straight Outta Compton" - Arrivals

Director F. Gary Gray will take the driver’s seat for the next installment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise.

In an announcement Thursday on Twitter, the filmmaker confirmed the he will be at the helm of “Furious 8,” confirming ongoing speculation that he was the frontrunner since it was revealed that “Furious 7” director James Wan would not return.

The “Straight Outta Compton” director tweeted: “Cant ask for better partners than Vin, Neal & Universal. Excited to bring u the next chapter of the #FastFamily saga.”

Production on the billion-dollar franchise is expected to begin in April, Deadline reports. The saga’s release date is April 14, 2017.

On Wednesday evening, the film’s lead star and executive producer Vin Diesel shared a photo alongside Gray. Last week Diesel announced via Facebook that his mother urged him to consider directing the next sequel himself. He said she told him: “Either you direct 8 yourself… or don’t do it.”

And last month the action star explained on his Facebook page that he was taking responsibility for finding a director and that he could not “just sign off on a director” because “this is too special a franchise.” He continued: “So these matters have to be very carefully handled. To be clear, NO ONE has been offered to helm Fast 8 yet… let alone seen a script.”