F. Gary Gray May Not Return For ‘Fast & Furious 9’ | Film News
While it still might seem strange that the Fast & Furious franchise, a series which begun in 2001 with not much more of an idea than cars racing kinda fast, is heading towards its ninth instalment, a major reason why the franchise has sustained such longevity is the talent involved behind the camera.
Chris Morgan has written each film since Tokyo Drift, and with Justin Lin directing four instalments between 2006 and 2013, the series had a solid backbone providing a steady through line throughout the series. Yet post-Lin, James Wan and F. Gary Gray have taken over directing duties and kept the franchise afloat. Yet Gray may not be returning for the ninth film in the series.
Gray told Heroic Hollywood:
“Right now I’m starting a company, so that is my focus for the last couple of months. I had a chance to take a week off, a vacation, and then jump into some prior stuff that I had to take care of. And in the midst of starting a company, so that’s what I’ve been dealing with”.
Gray had previously told Entertainment Weekly the cryptic answer of “who knows?” when asked if he’d return to the franchise.
While the series has never had a need for a big-name director, it has enjoyed continuity behind the camera, with the Lin/Morgan partnership producing the series’ best work. When a series is set to add a ninth film to its lengthy life, perhaps a fresh face behind the camera isn’t a bad idea if Gray chooses not to return.
With Michelle Rodriguez threatening to leave the franchise if it doesn’t add a larger focus to its female characters, perhaps this is the time for a female director to step behind the camera, or perhaps a new writer to give the series a boost and stop it from getting stale.
Either way, producers likely won’t sweat too much on who’s behind the camera, as the next film in the series is likely to make a bucketload of money at the box office anyway. Let’s just hope the film itself gives each character their due and doesn’t descend into a lazy cash-grab.
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