Update, May 2 at 2:16 p.m.: Louis Leterrier, director of the first two Transporter films, has replaced Justin Lin as the director of Fast X. Leterrier is French, adding even more international flavor to la famille. According to Variety, Leterrier was Universal’s first choice to replace Lin, beating out many other candidates. Which candidates? Unclear, but Vulture has been batting around some names (Batgirl directors Adil and Bilall, Tribeca Film Festival–headlining director Taylor Swift). Schedules are still being set to get Fast X back in high gear. Lin’s exit is reportedly costing Universal up to $1 million a day. Dépêchez-vous, monsieur!
Original story follows.
Justin Lin won’t be sitting at the big table at the next Fast & Furious family reunion. The longtime writer-director, who helmed five movies in the franchise, won’t be directing the upcoming Fast X. Maybe he figured he couldn’t top going to space? Deadline first reported the news, noting that the film just went into production with a set May 2023 release. The Fast franchise confirmed it on Instagram with a statement from Lin, who clarified he’ll stay on as a producer (after co-writing the movie). Lin said he made the decision “with the support of Universal.” “On a personal note, as the child of Asian immigrants, I am proud of helping to build the most diverse franchise in movie history,” he added. Just days ago, in a vlog-style video on star Vin Diesel’s Instagram, Lin said that Fast X “feels like the beginning of an epic ending” after a week of shooting.
Lin’s departure is the latest Fast & Furious family drama. Most notably, Diesel, who stars as Dominic Toretto in the franchise, personally and publicly asked “little brother” Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson to return to Fast X as Luke Hobbs, following their on-set argument on 2017’s The Fate of the Furious. Johnson later criticized the ask, calling it “manipulation” and claiming he already told Diesel he wouldn’t be coming back to the film. As for who will be? Cardi B, who played Leysa (a.k.a. Cara’s sister, a.k.a. “that bitch”) in F9 is set to reappear, building on her deep backstory. And Brie Larson is taking a hiatus from her YouTube pivot to join the family, per an Instagram post from Diesel that promises she will be “timeless and amazing.” Nothing left to say except “family.”