Though principal photography on Universal’s 10th Fast & Furious movie just recently began, Justin Lin announced this week that he will no longer be directing the project, a surprising turn of events that’s bound to bring production to a halt.
On Tuesday, Lin broke the news in a public statement explaining that he ultimately settled on the decision to leave Fast X with Universal’s support and that he plans to stay on the film, which he co-wrote along with Dan Mazeau, 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,” Lin said. “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.”
While Lin intoned that his departure from the film was amicable, Deadline reports that the decision ultimately boiled down to creative differences that will now require Universal to find another director to helm the project. As it stands now, second unit footage is still being shot, but it’s likely that production on Fast X will momentarily stop until a new director is brought on who can get caught up to speed and replace Lin. Given the success of the Fast films, Universal’s got every reason to not want to slow down as we get closer and closer to Fast X’s previously announced May 19th, 2023, theatrical release date. But with Lin walking away, the studio’s going to have to make sure that whoever succeeds him has the vision to keep Fast X on track.