Vin Diesel and F. Gary Gray
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Whenever an African American gets hired to direct the next film in a billion-dollar box-office franchise, every black person ought to grab the nearest cup and toast that man.

Congratulations are in order‚ÄĒyet again‚ÄĒfor F. Gary Gray. He's the guy slated to direct Furious 8, Deadline is reporting. Fast & Furious lead actor and producer Vin Diesel made the announcement‚ÄĒsort of‚ÄĒon his Facebook page by posting a photo of him and Gray. A large picture frame containing smaller photos of scenes from the Furious franchise sits between both men.¬†

Straight Outta Compton is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only did Gray make history by becoming the most successful African-American director in terms of a single film's domestic sales, but the success of that N.W.A biopic probably landed him the Furious 8¬†gig:¬†Straight Outta Compton¬†was released by Universal Studios‚ÄĒthe same studio that distributes the Fast and Furious films.¬†

According to Deadline, Gray was the studio's first choice on a short list of possible directors. Apparently preproduction is already under way, and Gray has already been in meetings with studio execs. Reports say production starts in April. 

Congratulations to the director who brought us classics like Set It Off, Friday and Straight Outta Compton, soon to be followed by Furious 8.

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Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.

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