With the “Fast & Furious” franchise putting $2.3 billion in the tank for Universal, it’s hard to believe that the studio is thinking about ending their one sure thing. But those are the rumblings, and apparently, Universal wants the man who essentially brought the series back to life to return and end it.
Justin Lin (“The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift,” “Fast And Furious,” “Fast Five,” “Fast & Furious 6“) will apparently be courted to direct “a multi-part production that will lead to multiple movies shot together” that will mark the end of Vin Diesel‘s meal ticket. Of course, no franchise is ever dead in Hollywood, and this is the closest thing Universal has to a Bond series, so we expect the engine to be running on this one with a new batch of gearheads for decades to come. But sure, the “final” movie is being talked about. Even then, with multiple films part of the equation, “Fast & Furious” isn’t going away any time soon. [Deadline]
Speaking of sequels, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” now has a director. Kirk Jones (“Nanny McPhee,” “What to Expect When You’re Expecting“) will get behind the camera for this one, once again penned by and starring Nia Vardalos, that “centers on a family secret and an even bigger, fatter wedding that brings the Portokalos family together again.” Wacky! [THR]
French genre helmer Xavier Gens (“Frontier(s),” “Hitman“) will direct “Lights Out.” The story will follow “a young blind girl battling Russian gangsters who invade the family mansion following her father’s suspicious death. Her only hope of survival is to cut the power in the house and use the fighting skills her father taught her.” Pre-production is under way with an A-list Chinese actress sought for the lead. [Screen Daily]
Alfonso Arau (“Like Water For Chocolate,” “A Walk In The Clouds“) will helm “The Crime Of Love.” Set in the 1930s, the drama will tell the tale of “an illicit love affair between two German officers in Nazi Germany.” [Screen Daily]
“Mean Girls” director Mark Waters will once again get in a “#Catfight.” The helmer will tackle the comedy that follows “Lucy, an insecure high school girl with a single mom who earns a scholarship to an elite private high school for her senior year and attempts to reinvent herself by hiding a past she wants to put behind her. On the day of her recruitment interview with her dream college, she finds out the boy she is dating has a psychotic ex-girlfriend. She has just come back from juvie that morning to challenge the college-bound girl to a fight after school. She tries to get her college admissions work behind her and keep up the prep school facade, before this showdown. Maybe she also can take down this maniacal rival and score one for bullied kids everywhere.” Uh, okay. [Deadline]
Stuart Hazeldine, perhaps best known for working on scripts for guys like Steven Spielberg (“Gods And Kings“) and Michael Mann (“Agincourt“) will helm the faith-based drama “The Shack.” The movie will tell the story of a man “meeting God after a terrible faith-shaking tragedy.” [Deadline]
Longtime Focus Features honcho and screenwriter James Schamus will get behind the camera for his directorial debut, “Indignation.” An adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel, the 1950s set story follows Marcus Messner, the idealistic son of a humble kosher butcher from Newark, New Jersey. Marcus leaves for Ohio to study at a small, conservative college, where he finds himself at odds with the administration, grapples with anti-Semitism and sexual repression, and pines after a troubled girl. Production starts next summer.