Did you know Vin Diesel once directed a feature film? It’s true! The Fast and Furious star made his feature directorial debut with the 1997 flick Strays. And while he’s directed a couple of shorts and a TV episode since then, we have yet to see the return of Vin Diesel: Filmmaker. And according to Steven Spielberg, Diesel’s abandonment of the director’s chair is a “crime of cinema”, and who are we to argue with Steven Spielberg?


I have a confession to make, dear reader: I had no idea Vin Diesel once directed a feature film. That film is Strays, and Diesel wrote, directed, and starred in it. He also funded Strays himself, raising around $50,000 by working as a telemarketer. In Strays, Diesel played Rick, “a drug dealer and hustler who is fed up with the repetitious lifestyle he leads and begins looking for meaning in his life.”

As we all know, since Strays, Diesel has gone on to bigger things – primarily the Fast and Furious franchise. But will we ever see the return of Vin Diesel: Film Director? Anything is possible. And according to Diesel, one of the best filmmakers in the biz – Steven Spielberg – has encouraged him to get behind the camera. Spielberg directed Diesel in Saving Private Ryan, and while speaking with The National, Diesel says he ran into Spielberg recently, and his former director encouraged him to get back in the saddle.

“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,'” Diesel said. “I haven’t directed enough.” I have no idea how accurate this story is, but if Steven Freakin’ Spielberg told me to direct more movies, I’d take him up on that.

Diesel went on to compare himself to filmmaker Jon Favreau, whom Diesel met when he took Strays to Sundance. Favreau was also there that year with his movie Swingers (which Favreau wrote and starred in for director Doug Liman). “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,” Diesel said. “It’s fascinating. I kind of go ‘Steven is right.'”

Listen to Steven, Vin. Get back behind the camera! The results are bound to be better than Bloodshot.

The post Vin Diesel Says Steven Spielberg Told Him to Direct Again or Else It Would Be a “Crime of Cinema” appeared first on /Film.