'Furious 8' news: Director F. Gary Gray talks taking the franchise to a different direction, cites 'The Force Awakens' as a blueprint

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The “Fast and Furious” franchise is still very much alive, and the team is heading towards a new trilogy starting with the first one coming in 2017. Dubbed as “Furious 8,” the movie will be helmed by F. Gary Gray who recently sat down with Collider to talk about the upcoming installment.

“I think he was really happy with the vision I have for the franchise and I was really happy about where he sees not only his character going but the franchise itself, because he’s a producer as well,” Gray revealed when asked about how his first meeting with “Fast and Furious” lead Vin Diesel came about. Diesel plays Dominic Toretto, leader of the pack, who has a huge penchant for fast cars and exhilarating adventure.

Fifteen years of history will definitely be taken into account when thinking about “Furious 8.” All seven films offered something new to the audience and every time a new one is coming out, high expectations are naturally given, and Gray, being a veteran filmmaker is aware of it. He even cited “Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens” as a good balance of action, character development, and overall film dynamics.

“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 joband my intentionto 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.”

Still, the “Fast and Furious” franchise poses a different kind of challenge especially that it is a continuing story within one generation, unlike “Star Wars” which has transcended timelines and has eased characters in and out of the story flawlessly. The untimely demise of Paul Walker is surely going to be a huge effect in the forthcoming films from the franchise. Fortunately, “Furious 7” and director James Wan was able to stage a farewell to the character with much room of evolution for its next chapters.

“Furious 8” will blast through the cinemas on April 14, 2017 and will include Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Ortiz), Tyrese Gibson (Roman Pearce), Ludacris (Tej Parker), Jordana Brewster (Mia), and Jason Statham (Ian Shaw).