Exclusive: Justin Lin on Fast & Furious 4 , Old Boy

A few weeks back, ComingSoon.net reported on a leaked memo doing the rounds in Hollywood that had Justin Lin attached to direct The Fast and the Furious 4 before the impending writers’ strike. In the last year, Justin’s mainly been doing the festival rounds with his indie comedy documentary Finishing the Game about the search to find someone to replace the late Bruce Lee to complete the unfinished Game of Death. As it prepares for its limited release, ComingSoon.net took the opportunity to find out whether or not Lin returning to the Universal racing franchise was a possibility, something he was still a bit tentative on, having just finished an independent movie he’d been wanting to make since film school.

“I’ve taken a year and a half of to do ‘Finishing the Game,’ and I’ve actually been able to do a lot of writing, so I’ve been able to develop a couple more passion projects, and those ones usually are harder to get off ground because you have to get the right people, the right financing, and you’re lucky to go make those movies,” he told us. “I’m geared up for those, but at the same time, I’m fortunate enough now that I’m in a place where I have choices and if I need to go back to my day jobÂ… It’s not totally set yet and I’m trying to decide what to do.”

When asked whether the recent leak might have something to do with wishful thinking on the studio’s part to get another “Fast and the Furious” movie out there before the strike, he responded, “That’s definitely part of the climate. Not that I’ve been in this business that long, but it’s unbelievable, some of the stuff that’s happening. Everyone is scrambling, but if I do it, I’m going to have fun with it. I’m still assessing. I haven’t totally signed on anything yet. People have been calling me, and I would do it for the right reason with the right people. That was my first action car movie and I feel like I’m better now. I would love to go and flex that muscle if it’s appropriate or the right situation. It would take the right people to come on board for me to do it, so we’ll see.”

At one point, Lin was also slated to direct a remake of Park Chan-Wook’s Korean action-thriller Old Boy, so we wondered whether that might be something that will still happen. “That was a situation where the studio had purchased a property and I love the original movie,” he said. “Everybody has their opinions on remakes and if the goal was to basically make a Xerox copy, then I wouldn’t want to make that. It’s a tough movie to remake. It’s a big challenge. In the last year, if anything, I’ve been protecting it a little bit, because if it’s not the right situation, then I’m probably not the right guy for it. I think it’s one of those things that came and as a young filmmaker, I just want to try things whether I succeed or fail. That one, because it’s at a big studio, and I think for all the pieces to fall right and to be able to make the film correctly, I don’t know if I’m even the right guy to do that. These are things that I’ve learned, especially with other films, sometimes you go and make it just to make it and have fun with it. That was one where I was very protective and if one element wasn’t correct—that’s where I’m standing. If it’s not totally there, it’s not worth it. I personally haven’t been able to find the right fit nor the right rhythm, so we’ll see. I honestly will probably move on from that.”

Check back next week for a full interview with Lin talking about his latest passion project Finishing the Game, which will open in New York and other places soon.

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