F. Gary Gray Emerges As 'Frontrunner' to Direct 'Furious 7' Sequel

Director F. Gary Gray
Director F. Gary Gray

It looks like filmmaker F. Gary Gray might get the green light to direct the next installment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise.

According to The Wrap, sources close to Universal Pictures – the studios behind the billion-dollar car movies – revealed that the “Straight Outta Compton” director has emerged as the “frontrunner.” Other names that have been thrown into the hat to take the helm include Adam Winged, Louis Leterrier and Will Eubank, Variety reports.

Aside from Gray’s “Compton” proving to be a summer hit, grossing $200 million worldwide, his relationship with key cast members add to his merit. He previously directed “Fast and Furious” star and executive producer Vin Diesel in “A Man Apart” and worked with costar Dwayne Johnson on “Be Cool.”

Among some of his credits, Gray has directed heist flicks “Set It Off” and “The Italian Job,” as well as thrillers “Law Abiding Citizen” and “The Negotiator.”

“Furious 7” director James Wan will not return for the eighth leg of the franchise and a search for the next director has been in full gear.

On Thursday 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 Diesel 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.”

The sequel to “Furious 7” is expected to hit theaters on April 14, 2017.