Say what you will about Justin Lin, but he’s come a long way since breaking out with his indie “Better Luck Tomorrow.” Granted, most of his success has come from shooting fast cars do jumps and stuff, but he also helped revitalize and re-legitimatize the “Fast & Furious” franchise as a whole, thanks to the staggering success of “Fast Five.” And there’s no doubt that “Fast & Furious 6” is going to be another monster hit. But it looks like the director is done shifting gears.
THR reports Lin has exited “Fast & Furious 7” because he doesn’t want to be rushed to meet the studio’s planned 2014 release date (and remember, ‘Furious 6’ is already being positioned with an ending to tie into the next movie). While the trade claims everything is still cool between Lin and Universal, we can’t imagine they’re exactly thrilled either, as they’re now in the midst hunting for someone to take on the challenge. Not only that, they’ll need to find someone on short notice who more than knows the ropes of special effects and stuntwork and can crank out the movie in time.
But these aren’t auteur-driven movies, they’re pumped full of testosterone, so Lin’s departure isn’t exactly a life-changing event either. And as for Lin, he’s likely eager to do something, anything else at this point, and he’s got options: he’s got a special ops thriller at Warner Bros., the futuristic thriller “Hibernation,” sci-fi comedy “Subdivision,” the drama “L.A. Riots,” stage adaptation “Chinglish,” and manga “Lone Wolf And Cub.” What’s the common thread between them all? They’re all entirely different and highlight a filmmaker who really wants to stretch his wings a bit. And no surprise that “franchise exhaustion” is also being cited as a reason Lin is moving on.
Universal however isn’t slacking, and a new director is expected to be announced soon. But they will have to get right into the mix as development and work on “Fast & Furious 7” will have to pretty much start immediately to make it to theaters next summer. Who should drive the muscle cars next? Let us know below.