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Fast & Furious Franchise Director Addresses Sudden Fast X Exit


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Summary

  • Justin Lin, who had directed five previous entries in the Fast & Furious franchise, quit Fast X a week into production in spring 2022.
  • The director now breaks his silence on the exit, not delving into why he left but expressing that he has nothing but love and positivity for the franchise.
  • Reports around the time of Lin’s exit suggested that disagreements with star and producer Vin Diesel could have been behind the decision.


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Fast X‘s original director, Justin Lin, reflects on his surprise departure from the movie. Lin, who had directed five installments of the Fast & Furious franchise, including 2021’s F9: The Fast Saga, was an obvious choice to helm the 10th movie, which officially started production in the spring of 2022. Only a week or so into filming, however, it was announced Lin had quit, with Louis Leterrier eventually brought on to replace him.

Now, a few months shy of the two-year anniversary of Lin’s Fast X exit, the director now reflects on the decision during a recent interview with Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.

While not revealing any details about his departure and why he made the choice that he did, the filmmaker makes clear that there’s no bad blood on his part, which echoes star’s Vin Diesel’s own comments about the matter. Check out Lin’s full comment below:

“I look back now, it’s like a year and a half, there’s nothing but love for the cast. Everyone jokes about family, family family, that’s how I feel. This is a crazy business, and to be able to go through 15 to 18 years with a group of people and to be able to just grow together, it’s very special.

“The studio has been nothing but trusting. It really just means everything to me. Whether I like it or not, I’m going to be linked to this franchise. Even when I was away between 6 and 9, I’m always rooting for it. There’s nothing but positivity.

“Whatever drama… I’m just kind of bummed it had to get out in the public. I’d rather have the characters speak for the franchise. Whatever happened, it shouldn’t be important. I was there, whatever they needed, whatever Louis [Leterrier] or anybody…I just want to be supportive. I think that’s the spirit of that situation and overall, that’s important to me.”


Fast X’s Behind-The-Scenes Drama Explained

Dom talking on the phone in Fast X

While the Fast & Furious franchise is no stranger to behind-the-scenes drama, with Diesel and Dwayne Johnson’s feud memorably dominating headlines, this drama hasn’t typically involved directors. It came as a surprise, then, when Lin, the director responsible for more Fast & Furious movies than anybody else, left after production on Fast X had already started.

The shocking nature of Lin’s departure certainly suggests that something significant did happen behind-the-scenes. A director’s sudden exit, after all, has the potential to cause major delays and cost a production millions of dollars, and isn’t a decision that would have been made lightly. Reports at the time suggested that Lin had left due to major creative differences with Diesel, who, in addition to starring as Dominic Toretto, now wields a great deal of power over the Fast & Furious franchise as a producer.

The period between Lin’s exit and Leterrier’s hiring was reportedly costing Universal up to $1 million per day, as the studio had to pay to keep cast and crew on set.

While it’s not unreasonable to suggest that creative differences with Diesel are to blame for Lin’s exit, it’s curious that Fast X was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Diesel and Lin seemingly collaborated effectively on five previous installments, and it’s not clear what might’ve changed this time around. Lin and others involved, however, are likely still under NDA about the whole experience, so it’s possible that the specific circumstances of Lin’s exit won’t be revealed for years to come.

Source: Josh Horowitz/ YouTube

Fast X Poster

Fast X

Vin Diesel and the family return for the tenth installment of the Fast & Furious franchise in Fast X. Charlize Theron returns as Cipher joining forces with Dante Reyes, a former foe of the Fast Family seeking revenge for the death of his father Hernan Reyes, after the events of Fast Five. Fast X is part one of a two-part conclusion to the franchise.

Release Date
May 19, 2023

Director
Louis Leterrier

Cast
Vin Diesel , Michelle Rodriguez , Jason Statham , Jordana Brewster , Tyrese Gibson , Ludacris , Charlize Theron , Nathalie Emmanuel , John Cena , Sung Kang , Helen Mirren , Brie Larson , Scott Eastwood , Jason Momoa

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
141 Minutes

Writers
Justin Lin , Dan Mazeau , Gary Scott Thompson

Budget
$340 Million

Studio(s)
Universal Pictures

Distributor(s)
Universal Pictures

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