Justin Lin is out of ‘Fast X’: a world in a costly race to replace him

on April 22 Vin Diesel Spread A 19-second Instagram video summarizing the first week of production on “X fast“The latest entry in the 21-year-old Universal franchise. In the clip, Diesel takes a level Justin Lin To ask the film’s director and co-writer how he felt at the end of the first week of production.

As Diesel smiles at his self-camera, Lin sits down, looking uncomfortable, nodding as he tries to find the right words.

“It feels like the beginning, ah, of an epic ending,” Lynn says frankly.

Ostensibly, Lane was referring to the planned successive filming of the tenth and eleventh sequels of the action series, purportedly intended to end Dominic Toretto’s saga of Diesel and his “fast” family.

Alternatively, Lin, who has directed five of the franchise’s ten installments, may have mistakenly predicted the end of his time at the “Fast X” wheel. Just four days later, the 50-year-old director announced that he would no longer be directing the film.

“With Universal’s support, I’ve made the difficult decision to step down as director of the Fast X program, while continuing to work on the project as a producer,” Lynn said in a statement. Spread To the movie’s official social media address.

The news came as a huge shock to fans, who have come to see Lin as one of the primary architects of the series’ approach to heart, humor and vehicular carnage since he rode the project with “The The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Since then, he’s directed some of the most critically acclaimed films, including 2011’s Fast Five, and has taken his thrillers to new heights—and totally out of this world—with his 2021 comeback F9: The Fast Saga.

Lynn’s exit was reportedly “friendly” and attributed to “creative differences”. But leaving several million days of franchise in production has put Universal in the rare and unenviable position of finding a replacement in time for a planned theatrical release date of May 19, 2023.

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Universal representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The biggest challenge to production is time. The sources say diverse That the second unit would continue to be produced in the UK, while the main unit would be paused until a replacement manager was appointed. Until then, production was burning through cash to keep the main crew and members in limbo. Sources from various studios with experience replacing managers halfway have estimated that it could cost Universal upwards of $600,000 to $1 million per day. Much of the cost depends on whether production on any fixed tracks is already underway – the bigger the action hits, the more expensive the delay – indicating that Lynn made the decision to vacate the director’s chair very early in filming to avoid even further cost overruns. down the production calendar.

There’s also the matter of the franchise’s newest stars, Jason Momoa and Brie Larson, as well as Charlize Theron, who will make a third appearance as the villain Cipher. All three are dedicated to ongoing perks that require their time and attention, so delays may require some hasty and costly changes to fit their busy schedules.

Watchers note that Lane’s announcement was made on the “Fast and Furious” social media channels, not by Lane’s representatives or on his personal social media — and it was couched in the franchise’s official line. Due to the formalities involved, Universal will likely have advance notice of its decision, and thus more time to begin looking for a replacement.

The most logical answer to replace it would be to introduce someone familiar with the mechanics of the franchise. The problem is that, other than Lynn, only five directors have directed “Fast and Furious”: Rob Cohen (2001 “The Fast and the Furious”), the late John Singleton (“2 Fast 2 Furious” 2003), James Wan (“The Fast and the Furious” 2003). 2015’s Furious 7, F. Gary Gray (2017 “The Fate of the Furious”) and David Leech (2019 “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw”).

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Wan, Gray, and Leitch would all be viable options – if they weren’t busy. About an hour after news broke that Lynn was stepping down as director, Wan was on stage at CinemaCon Las Vegas for a preview of Warner Bros. ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’, which is still in post-production and due for release in March 2023. This movie has elaborate special effects, making it nearly impossible for Wan to be able to shift his attention elsewhere. Gray is currently filming Netflix’s “Lyft,” starring Kevin Hart, and Leitch is set to begin production on Universal Fall Guy with Ryan Gosling soon.

Meanwhile, Cohen hasn’t directed a movie since 2018, shortly before he became embroiled in a personal controversy with several allegations of sexual assault. (Cohen’s representatives denied the allegations.)

A rival studio executive has speculated that Universal could be looking for a skilled second unit director, particularly one well versed in big-budget action films, to co-sponsor the sequel. A director on the first list may not be willing to join the series without asking for changes to the script or additional time to find their way into the story.

Furthermore, Diesel, the “Fast and Furious” OG, is known to be the true driver of the franchise. He’s also a movie producer and hasn’t been shy about publicly expressing his displeasure with the creative decisions others make. On April 20, Diesel posted that the first draft of the “Fast X” screenplay, written by Lin and co-writer Dan Mazo, did not include Jordana Brewster’s character Mia, who, fans know, is also Dom’s sister. “I was so disappointed that I couldn’t see how I could continue,” Diesel wrote. The actor got his way and Brewster ended up joining the movie.

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There were other speed bumps in the way of Fast X production, including Diesel’s feud with Dwayne Johnson, who joined the crew on Fast Five and then refused to join the group with him on “Fate.” When Diesel made a public offer to Johnson about a comeback for the new movie, Johnson—publicly—closed it off.

“I told [Diesel] “I’m directly not going back to the franchise,” Johnson said in an interview with CNN. “I was firm but friendly with my words and said I would always be supportive of the cast and always make the franchise a success, but there was no chance of going back.”

Diesel also tried Recruiting Rita Moreno to the film crew as Abuela Dome, but scheduling prevented the EGOT winner from appearing. “I said, ‘I’ll take a rain check,'” Moreno said, “and we became friends.” diverse in March.

Despite his influence, the chances of Diesel getting the director don’t seem high. Although he led the 2009 short film “Los Bandoleros”—the precursor to Dom’s return to the franchise in 2009’s “Fast and Furious” after missing the second and third parts—Diesel directed only one movie, 1997’s “Strays.” That Universal would need a more experienced hand to take on such a gigantic production already underway.

Certainly, the actor’s ambitions for “Fast X” are obvious. In his video with Lynn, the director asked, “Is it fair to say this would be the best?”

Lynn shrugs his shoulders. “In my heart yes.”

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