Somehow, Universal Pictures is having a hard time finding a director for their biggest franchise, so I’m here to help them out, because Fast & Furious is family. Keep in mind this is mostly just for fun, so don’t try to overthink other projects these directors have got lined up, but if F8 is on my side, then one of these directors might actually get to direct the next installment in the series:
Since Fast & Furious started off as “Point Break with cars,” why not just get the director of Point Break to do the eighth installment? She’s gotten a lot of steam over the past couple of years with The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, and while her talent might be a little out there for the franchise, I’d still love to see her style applied to the “Mr. Nobody” aspect we were introduced to in Furious 7.
You can do no wrong with Edgar Wright. Truthfully, this is just me hoping we take what Wright successfully did with Hot Fuzz, and bring the Fast & Furious series back to its 2 Fast 2 Furious, buddy-cop days. Maybe have Vin Diesel, the Rock, and their testosterone drive the story? Probably won’t happen, but if they do listen to this list by bringing Wright on, while keeping the series in the ensemble category, at least you’ll be assured that the team chemistry and action will be top-notch.
Oddly enough, I feel that Michelle MacLaren’s previous work on Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and Better Call Saul make her a top pick for a Fast & Furious movie. She can capture the humor and the grittiness this series has shown before, but more importantly, I think she can shift the genre of the series again. The self-aware and over-the-top approach of the last two installments has really worked out, but reliance on it can be risky. The series has shifted between the heist, superhero, and spy sub-genres over the last few installments, and I’d be confident in another shift under her direction.
Just in case you weren’t sold on how strange my picks are, consider Joseph Kahn. Fast & Furious launched the career of Justin Lin and the move of James Wan into blockbuster territory, and if there’s one Asian director I’d like to see dive into the same area, it’s Kahn. Most recently known for his Bad Blood music video and bootleg Power/Rangers short film, Kahn is a filmmaker with great ambition that a Fast & Furious movie can easily absorb. As an added bonus, he’s also got an impressive visual style and a hint of self-awareness going on.
Guardians of the Galaxy was a visually beautiful space film, with well fleshed out characters that just popped with irreverent humor and team dynamics, and at the heart of the film was a group of weirdo outlaws that come together to form something like a family. Say no more, James Gunn is your man for Fast & Furious 8, or whichever one features the Toretto crew blasting off to space.
Guillermo del Toro
I feel that at his core, Guillermo del Toro is a little kid with a wide imagination, who just happens to be making films. He’s really a fan. Hell, he made a movie about robots fighting giant monsters for people who like robots fighting giant monsters, and it was amazing and loads of fun. I don’t know if he’s a fan of the Fast & Furious series, but if he is, he’s sure as hell going to give 110% of his effort in making it awesome for the Fast family.
I’ve really been enjoying Christopher McQuarrie’s recent string of films, and of course, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation lit me up like a great action movie should in July. McQuarrie knows how to handle “The Action Star,” and how to handle action in a creative and interesting way, so just imagine him signing up for an action film led by Vin Diesel and the Rock. It’ll most likely be a contender for best action movie of that year.
Again, going off my point about the Fast & Furious launching the big parts of Lin’s and Wan’s careers, Cary Fukunaga would be an excellent pick to helm the series. He’s basically an amalgamation of all the points I’ve raised here; it can further his movie career, he can shift the genre of the series, and he has a well-defined style and creative vision that can work well within the series. You just know he’ll get great performances out of both a two-man lead and an ensemble, and you’ll have a world-class director on board. Remember when people were buzzing about True Detective? That’s because of him.
Honorable Mention: George Miller
This might be way out there, but I really do feel that the director of Happy Feet has a glorious, high-octane vehicle movie somewhere in him. Just a feeling.