Well, that’s a shocker: out of the blue, the official The Fast Saga Twitter account released an official announcement that states a member of the Fast & Furious family will no longer ride with us – at least not in the way that we expected to. Justin Lin, the filmmaker who helmed five installments in the franchise (and also Star Trek Beyond) has stepped down as director from Fast X.
The statement was written by Lin himself, and he calls it a “difficult decision.” It really must have been, since the tenth entry in the film series is in active production and slated for a May 2023 release. Just last week, franchise lead actor Vin Diesel announced the production had begun, which means Lin certainly took part in mapping out the whole movie. Lin wrote:
“With the support of Universal, I have made the difficult decision to step back as director of ‘Fast X’, while remaining with the project as a producer. Over 10 years and five films, we have been able to shoot the best actors, the best stunts, and the best damn car chases. On a personal note, as the child of Asian immigrants, I am proud of helping to build the most diverse franchise in movie history. I will forever be grateful to the amazing cast, crew and studio for their support, and for welcoming me into the FAST family.”
Lin’s exit is especially confusing when you consider that the director was attached to direct not only Fast X, but the next two installments in the franchise. The final three laps of the Fast & Furious film series are being planned as a trilogy to send Dom Toretto and his friends off in the most epic way possible. With Lin dropping out, we could see a significant shift in tone and direction of the story as different directors take over the project.
But not all seems to be lost: as Lin remains credited as producer, it’s possible that he will still have a say in what goes on throughout the story, even though it’s hard to say to what extent he could influence the franchise’s final chapters. For now, we’ll have to wait for further details surrounding his exit.
Aside from Diesel, Fast X also features Jason Momoa, Brie Larson, and Charlize Theron, as well as returning main cast members Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, and Sung Kang. The story is set to dive deeper into the Toretto family background.
Fast X is slated to premiere in theaters on May 19, 2023.