Weeks into production, Fast X and Vin Diesel have lost arguably the most important person to the franchise. Director Justin Lin has announced that he is officially stepping down as director of the film. There has not been a reason why the long-standing Fast & Furious director decided to step away, but he gave a short and succinct thank you to everyone involved. While Lin is not going to remain the director for part one of the final two films, he will remain a producer. You can see his exit announcement below:
The exit of Justin Lin is likely to stop production for quite some time. The man was responsible for directing five of the 10 films that have been made. He also co-wrote the Fast X script with Dan Mazeau, so it is likely that he has a personal connection to this film. The franchise will now need to find someone who shares a common vision with Lin, as the more recent films of the franchise have certainly been similarly styled. There have been no words from any of the other people involved in the film, including Vin Diesel. Diesel is usually one to update fans via his Instagram, but there have been no further updates on why this exit happened. It could mean that he is upset at this announcement, or he is currently busy helping the studio scramble for a new director.
This is tough news for the Fast & Furious franchise, especially considering how many times F9 had been delayed due to the pandemic. With Fast X on a scheduled release, it could mean this upcoming film will now be subject to harsh delays as well. Finding a director isn’t going to be the easiest task. Someone will need to come that truly understands the core elements of the franchise, which will certainly be tough to do. Adding a high-profile director could also damage things in the sense that they might want to change too much about the upcoming film. This is truly a tough decision for the franchise moving forward. Justin Lin is staying on as a producer of the film, so it could mean whoever Universal chooses to replace him might also be able to use Lin as a deeper consultant on the film. That would be the hope, at least. Fast X and Vin Diesel have certainly lost one of the most important people to the franchise.
Vin Diesel has served as producer for the last six films in the franchise, so he could be currently in talks with the rest of the producers to find a director. James Wan directed Furious 7 and F. Gary Gray directed The Fate of the Furious, so they might be called upon to handle directing duties for Fast X. Wan is currently in the post-production stages of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, so he might be more readily available than Gray could be. Another name to possibly watch out for is Michael Bay. This is just speculation, but Bay’s style would match up perfectly with Fast X. Keep your eyes peeled for the replacement announcement in the coming weeks.