The ending of Furious 7 was a revelation. If you had told me a decade ago that I would be sitting in a cinema not only watching the seventh installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, but seeing half the audience bawling their eyes out at some proper dramatics, I would have told you to please pass whatever it was you were smoking. But that’s exactly what happened as director Justin Lin and star/producer Vin Diesel pulled off the incredible feat of putting together not just a fantastic action movie, but also giving a touching send-off to co-star Paul Walker, who tragically died in a car accident halfway through.
And it seems that that real loss is going to translate over to the movies’ characters as well, as Diesel explained to Entertainment Tonight that the upcoming Fast 8 will see his Dom Toretto dealing with some issues. And those issues are going to make the usually lighthearted and fun Fast & Furious movies take an unexpected turn.
Fast 8 is different. It’s very very dark. My character is conflicted in a way that is really going to shock you. He’s coming off of a lot of emotion from 7 and the loss that 7 represents. It’s kind of cold-blooded. It is going to hit you like a ton of bricks. Everything is going to make sense.
And it appears that Diesel and co have chosen appropriately for the director of this dark movie. Scrolling through F. Gary Gray’s filmography and your eye might immediately get drawn to The Italian Job, another heist movie involving fast cars. But Gray has actually previously collaborated with Diesel on A Man Apart, which was also a surprisingly sombre and dark spin for the usual action hero.
On top of that, Gray is also coming off the critically acclaimed hip-hop biopic Straight Outta Compton. Despite all the rave reviews the film received, Gray didn’t bank any directing awards himself, despite being considered as one of the favourites by many. And it seems that he’s using that snub to fuel his filmmaking fires on Fast 8.
As bizarre as that might be, he is definitely going to [be recognized]. As crazy as that might sound, he should have really been acknowledged for Straight Outta Compton. I think he went into making this movie with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, going “Oh, really? Ok. Now I’m going to take the biggest saga in the world, and I’m about to throw Oscars at you.” Wait till you see what he does!
A Fast & Furious movie winning an Oscar? Hey, I’ve learned to never say never when it comes to this franchise!
On top of that interview, Diesel and Gray also recently shared our first look at the upcoming sequel (eightquel? octquel?) with this cool behind-the-scenes set video.
Fast 8 will see the return of Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jason Statham and Kurt Russell. Newcomers to the cast include Charlize Theron – who plays the film’s new baddie – Kristofer Hivju, Scott Eastwood, and Helen Mirren. It is scheduled for release on April 14, 2017.
Last Updated: October 21, 2016
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I have learned when to say ‘Never’. And I’m saying never.