Bald-headed behemoth Vin Diesel is one of the most recognizable actors in the world, having become synonymous with high-octane action movies thanks to roles in the likes of Pitch Black and the Fast and Furious franchise. Well-known for throwing punches and leaping from speeding car to speeding car, it seems that Diesel can do it all, and now, directing may well be in the actor's future. Not only does he have directing in his sights, but Diesel apparently also has the blessing of one of Hollywood's most beloved filmmakers, Steven Spielberg.

"Speaking of Steven Spielberg, I saw him recently, and he had said to me, 'When I wrote the role for you in Saving Private Ryan, I was obviously employing the actor, but I was also secretly championing the director in you, and you have not directed enough. That is a crime of cinema and you must get back in the directing chair. I haven't directed enough."

So, Spielberg thinks that Diesel not directing more is nothing less than a criminal act against cinema. It sounds like the action star best get in that directing chair very quickly, in that case. Prior to his 1997 feature directorial debut, Strays, Diesel helmed and starred in the 1995 short film Multi-Facial, a short film about the problems that accompany an actor as he auditions, due to his multi-ethnic appearance. The short film caught the eye of Steven Spielberg and led the director to cast Diesel in a supporting role in the much-celebrated 1998 war epic Saving Private Ryan.

Vin Diesel's feature-film directorial debut, Strays, was released in 1997 and follows a drug dealer and hustler who is fed up with the repetitious lifestyle he leads and begins looking for meaning in his life. When Diesel took the movie to the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, he ended up befriending another aspiring filmmaker at the time, one Jon Favreau.

"It's so funny, because we were both alumni at Sundance as filmmakers, and he goes off to do 'Lion King,' 'Iron Man,' and all these great movies. It's fascinating. I kind of go 'Steven is right.'"

Sadly, Strays was not particularly well-received critically or by audiences, which is in stark contrast to Multi-facial. Nevertheless, the fire seems to now be under Diesel, making it likely that he will once again put his eye to the camera once again. One particular directorial passion project that Diesel has harbored for some time is that of Hannibal Barca, the military general from Carthage who fought the Romans during the Second Punic War around 200 BC. Diesel spoke about this idea, which he has always envisioned as a trilogy.

"I haven't done it yet. As much as I am grateful for the accomplishments, there are moments when I go 'God, you promised the universe, very specifically, the Hannibal Barca trilogy, and you haven't delivered it. You travelled all over the world.'"

Diesel's most recent movie, the comic book action flick Bloodshot, was released early to digital and is now available to purchase, whilst the ninth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, Fast 9 has been delayed a year due to current circumstances. This comes to us from The National.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge