Filming on Fast X just started, but director Justin Lin announced Tuesday that he will be stepping down as director. Over the last week, the internet has been buzzing with casting news and behind-the-scenes images from the set of the 10th movie in the Fast and Furious franchise, so the news of Lin’s departure from the project has come as a shock to many fans of the high-octane movie series which was expected to be helmed by Lin for its final two movies.
In a statement posted on the official Twitter account of the movie, Lin said:
“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.”
#FASTX pic.twitter.com/T0w9LuYS0F— The Fast Saga (@TheFastSaga) April 26, 2022
According to Deadline, Lin’s decision to step back from the director’s role is down to “creative differences,” but he will still remain with the project as a producer. As one of the writers of the penultimate Fast and Furious outing, it is very late for such issues to arise.
The report goes on to say that some filming will continue on second unit footage, but the main shoot will take a short pause while Lin’s replacement is found. As there are a number of directors already being consulted, the delay is not expected to impact the release date of the movie at this time.
Justin Lin Has Been an Integral Part of The Fast & Furious Franchise’s Success
When Justin Lin joined the Fast franchise, the series was just a run-of-the-mill action flick, but two movies later under Lin’s direction, the Vin Diesel starring saga sped its way into lists of the top-grossing franchises of all time. Lin ended up helming four movies in the series; Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast and Furious 6, and after a hiatus, F9. While the franchise as a whole has recorded over $6 billion in box office receipts, the movies directed by Lin have accounted for $1.9 billion of that.
This is certainly not the first time a big movie franchise has replaced its director once shooting has commenced, but there are many fans who are worried that the sudden and late-in-the-day changes could lead to another Justice League fiasco. With the circumstances around Lin’s departure completely different to those around Zack Snyder’s Justice League exit, and the former director staying on as producer, there has to be a hope that the new director can come in and ensure the franchise goes out with a bang and not a whimper.