Universal is ''actively casting and searching for the right director'' for 'Furious 8'.

Following the news that both Justin Lin and 'Furious 7' director James Wan have turned down the chance to helm the next instalment in the franchise, Universal has announced it is still looking for a filmmaker to take on the project.

Rubbishing claims Wan refused to return because producer and star Vin Diesel was difficult to work with, a spokesperson for Universal told The Hollywood Reporter: ''The studio and filmmakers loved working James on 'Furious 7', but he was never in the mix for an eight film due to a scheduling conflict with 'The Conjuring 2'. We are actively casting and searching for the right director for the next chapter of the franchise.''

The comments come after it was reported Wan had told Universal he wouldn't be returning for the eighth film before 'Furious 7' was even completed.

The 'Saw' director is said to have been so affected by the trauma of having to complete the film following the tragic death of star Paul Walker and the demands of Diesel that his health was compromised.

However, a spokesperson for Diesel has written off any suggestion he was difficult to work with as ''complete nonsense'' while Wan's representative has denied any on-set friction between the pair.

Producer Neal Moritz added: ''Obviously, if there was any issue, we wouldn't be making the eight [film] with [Diesel] right now.''