The next instalment of the Fast & Furious franchise will not be released until at least 2017 because of hitch finding a director.

Aussie director James Wan was in charge of Furious 7, which grossed more than US$1.5 billion worldwide, and was down for two follow-up movies.

Instead Wan, according to the Hollywood Reporter, has opted out to direct a sequel to his 2013 hit The Conjuring.

Even more frustrating for Universal Pictures is that Justin Lin, who directed the third to the sixth movies in the series, chose to make the next Star Trek film rather than return for Furious 8.

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Reports that the movie's star Vin Diesel, who replaced Paul Walker as the main character following his death in 2013, is difficult to work has apparently not helped Universal's cause.

Furious producer Neal Moritz says there is no issue with Diesel while a Universal spokesman said their goal is to recruit a director for the eighth instalment.

"The studio and filmmakers loved working with James on Furious 7, but he was never in the mix for an eighth film due to a scheduling conflict with The Conjuring 2," the spokesman said in a statement.

"We are actively casting and searching for the right director for the next chapter of the franchise."

- AAP