After walking out of the theater after 2Fast 2Furious, I vowed that I wouldn't pay money for another film from the franchise. Suddenly, around the fifth installment of the series, something amazing happened: the franchise became self-aware. Instead of being an unintentionally stupid crop of car movies, the Fast series drifted into the overtop lunacy and absurdity in a manner too compelling to ignore. One of the key figures behind the franchise's successful second act is director Justin Lin.
Lin, often cited as the main creative voice that helped pump NOS into the heart of Fast and Furious, announced that he is vacating the proverbial driver's seat.
Lin co-wrote the film with Dan Mazeau and will remain on as a producer. While the parting was amicable between both parties, insiders say that Lin ultimately decided to step away from the franchise due to creative differences.
Lin has released a statement on his decision to leave the film:
"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."
Time will tell if the series flounders without Lin's stewardship, but either way, there's still another film scheduled after Fast X. Let's see if the franchise can still keep its foot on the gas. Okay, I'm out of car metaphors now.