Justin Lin exits the director’s chair on Fast X

Fast and Furious 9, which doesn't star Jean Claude Van Damme but did have a stunt
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The Fast & Furious series’ long-running director has departed Fast X, just days after filming began on the project.

Well, here’s a story we didn’t see coming. Whilst directors departing blockbuster productions over ‘creative differences’ isn’t especially uncommon, Justin Lin has directed five of the nine films in The Fast & Furious franchise so far, becoming one of the series’ mainstays. All to the point where you’d imagine that any creative conflicts that might occur could, by this point, be ironed out internally. That appears not to be the case however, with Lin announcing his exit from the director’s chair shortly after production has begun. Creative differences have been cited.

Lin’s statement, which he released on social media, is short and as is usual in these situations, gives nothing away with the filmmaker simply stating: “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. I will forever be grateful to the amazing cast, crew and studio for their support, and for welcoming me into the FAST family.”

Second unit work is reportedly still ongoing, whilst first unit production has paused until a new director can be brought in to take up the reins. It can’t be the easiest movie, logistically, to step into the director’s chair at the last minute on.

It’s quite the shock, given Lin’s history with the franchise and we’re probably going to have to wait for some time until the fuller details on his exit come to light. It will be interesting to see if any of the saga’s stars voice their support for Lin, as joining the Fast series practically demands that you post lots of warm, fuzzy missives about your fellow collaborators.

Universal isn’t expected to change the film’s release schedule which will see it hit cinemas on May 19th 2023. We’ll let you know when we hear more on this story.

Family, eh?

The Hollywood Reporter

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