Director's Vision: F. Gary Gray
After movies Gray wrapped up like The Italian Job, A Man Apart and Be Cool, in 2009 he found a gem with Law Abiding Citizen which stars Jamie Foxx and Gerald Butler, initially Jamie Foxx was supposed to play the criminal working from the inside but overall the movie turned out to be a fan favorite. Fast forward six years, Gray hasn't really been behind the camera as far as film wise in between that time, sometimes you need a break and a director's job isn't easy at all so as a huge fan I understand and respect his time off, there was rumors floating around that he was going to direct a Kane & Lynch video game adaptation reuniting him with Jamie Foxx, I don't know what happened but that film is currently in development hell, 2015 gets here and Gray directs the NWA story Straight Outta Compton.
This was Gray's game 7 moment, what he brought to the big screen with NWA was amazing, three of my favorite scenes from Compton was the opening scene with Eazy and the battering ram raiding the house after a bad drug deal, the concert in Detroit whey NWA performed Fuck The Police was so intense it was perfect, and Ice Cube running up in the executive's office destroying everything with a baseball bat, overall the movie was excellent even if there was some controversy with some ways the second half of Eazy's story was told, and that wasn't Gray, Cube or Dre's fault, check the production credits and research, but that's for another day, other than that Gray really should have at least received a best director nomination at the Oscars for Compton, he executed that film really well, that movie deserved more than some bullshit best screenplay nomination, but it's not surprising, hopefully he'll get the respect he deserves if he decides to direct the Marvin Gaye biopic (rumored to start Will Smith) in the future.
Now it's 2017 and next week on April 14 Fast and Furious 8 aka the Fate of The Furious is coming, and it's looking like the best installment since Fast 5. It looks like Gary Gray directed the shit out of this movie; the action alone from the arctic snow scene with tanks, submarines and The Rock throwing a damn torpedo is unreal, and I can’t wait to see it. You know you made it when you go from directing Friday to the NWA biopic to the 8th Fast and Furious. Maybe the only thing left for Gray is to win an Oscar, and possibly stepping inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he already declined to direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier due to scheduling conflicts with Straight Outta Compton. Recently he passed up on Black Panther because of Fast 8, and he could have possibly done both but that would have been exhausting. I would've loved to see his vision on Black Panther; he was my number one choice when reports came out but I'm also glad Ryan Coogler is on the helm for it.
Who knows where Gray would be now if he would have directed The Winter Soldier, if it would've turned out as great as the Russo Brothers version then Marvel would've probably gave him 'Civil War' and maybe Infinity War. So what is next for F. Gary Gray? I hope he still directs something with Marvel in the near future, a film with Denzel Washington is always a good look, Bad Boys 3 just lost its director and from what the over the top action in Fast 8 looks like, Sony Pictures better give him a call with a huge budget. Gray, Martin Lawrence, & Will Smith could take Marcus and Mike Lowrey to crazy intense heights with Bad Boys.
F. Gary Gray filmography is going to get better and better in the future whether it's action, drama or maybe take on Last Friday if it gets the green light, he's one of Hollywood's best and he's only getting started.