For the second time, the “Fast and Furious” series is losing the director that turned it into a billion-dollar global phenomenon. Justin Lin and Universal announced Tuesday that just days into filming on “FAST X,” the franchise’s 10th installment, he is stepping down as director.
He will however remain a producer on the film, which is set for release in May, 2023.
“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 said in a statement Tuesday.
The specific reason for Lin’s shocking exit has not been announced, nor has a replacement for Lin as director, though individuals with knowledge of the situation say creative differences were in play.
Lin previously directed “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” “Fast & Furious,” “Fast Five,” and “Fast & Furious 6” before leaving the franchise in 2014 in order to direct “Star Trek Beyond.” He returned to the #family for last year’s “F9” and was supposed to direct both the 10th film and the 11th, final installment of the series.
“F9: The Fast Saga” hit theaters in June 2021 and earned $726 million worldwide, an impressive haul considering the film came out just as the delta variant of COVID was beginning to spread.