Director Justin Lin has had quite an amazing run on the “Fast and Furious” franchise, coming on board with the third movie “Tokyo Drift”–which many thought would be the end of the franchise–and then continuing on with Fast & Furious, which reunited the original cast, and its sequel Fast Five, both huge global blockbuster hits.
With Fast & Furious 6 scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, and the recently announced Fast & Furious 7 planning to start shooting this summer (according to Vin Diesel), word comes from The Hollywood Reporter that Universal Pictures wants to get the seventh movie out by next year and that may have been enough for Justin Lin to opt out of directing it. According to the story, Lin informed Universal execs on Wednesday afternoon that he wouldn’t be directing that seventh installment.
If Lin had stayed on board, he would have tied the record set by John Glen for most installments of an English language franchise directed by the same person, passing Steven Spielberg (“Indiana Jones”), George Lucas (“Star Wars”) and David Yates (“Harry Potter”). (There are many international directors who have far surpassed that mark such as Yoji Yamada, the directors of the “Zatoichi” series and other international film series.)
Lin has plenty of other options having been attached to many other projects over the years, including the sci-fi thrillers Hibernation and Subdivision, a possible adaptation of the Japanese samurai epic Lone Wolf and Cub, the long-gestating L.A. Riots and adaptations of a Patrick Lee novel and David Henry Hwang’s Play Chinglish. Lin is also executive producing Summit Entertainment’s planned reboot of Highlander, which currently has no director.
Universal is actively looking for another director to jump onto the project as soon as possible with a decision likely by next week.
(Photo Credit: WENN.com)