Fast X: more details emerge about Justin Lin’s departure

Fast X
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Director Justin Lin and star/producer Vin Diesel had a ‘major disagreement’ says before Lin quit Fast X, it’s been reported.

Appreciating we’ve only just made it to May, the news that franchise stalwart Justin Lin was quitting the Fast & Furious saga less than a week into filming getting underway on Fast X remains the most surprising in movies this year. Lin, who’s helmed five of the nine films in the series to date, quit within days, with Louis Leterrier now likely to sign up as his replacement. The unexpected pause to find a new helmer for Fast X is already said to be costing Universal up to $1m a day.

The Hollywood Reporter has been digging into what caused Lin’s departure, outside of the agreed friendly statement that had been put out, and rumours of creative differences. It argues that this has been brewing for months, with Lin going straight from the release of Fast & Furious 9 into preparing the next movie.

With a budget said to be heading towards $300m, Lin had taken on finalising the screenplay and when action was called for the first time on the production, reportedly believed he had a locked script. Yet the report cites a location from the movie cut late in the day, the lack of a villain being cast, and Universal ordering a new writer to come aboard, to polish dialogue.

Lin also, and perhaps this is the least surprising part of all of this, was said to have had a “major disagreement” with franchise star and producer Vin Diesel, after the latter brought along new notes for a meeting on April 23rd 2022.

We should note that neither Justin Lin nor Vin Diesel commented on the story, but Universal has: it has taken the bullet, and protected Diesel. “Any creative differences leading to Justin Lin’s exist were with the studio, not with fellow producers or crew”, its spokesperson said.

First unit filming on Fast X is expected to resume in the next week or two, as soon as Louis Leterrier’s deal is sealed. In the meantime, you can read The Hollywood Reporter’s piece here.

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