Movie Reviews

Fast & Furious 10's Director Change Is Disastrous (& F9 Proves It)

Fast and Furious 10, which is now officially titled Fast X, has lost its director, Justin Lin, a few days into filming. Taking many by surprise, filmmaker Justin Lin issued a statement revealing that he would no longer direct Fast X but only stay on the movie as a producer. Despite the sudden change, Fast X will continue filming second unit scenes and currently still holds the same release date.

Justin Lin’s history with The Fast Saga dates back a long time. The director was responsible for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, a film that grew to be something of a “cult classic” within the saga. Lin would then direct Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6, virtually becoming synonymous with the Fast and Furious franchise. After skipping Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious, Lin returned for F9.

Related: Vin Diesel’s Fast 10 Rejection Saved The Franchise From A Fatal Error

After Justin Lin’s Fast & Furious comeback in F9 and the announcement that Fast and Furious 10 and 11 would bring an end to the saga, it seemed obvious that he was the best name to helm the final two chapters. This was confirmed when Justin Lin was announced to direct Fast & Furious 10, which shows just how disastrous it is for the film to now lose the director. Fast & Furious is a product of many minds, including Vin Diesel, but it is undeniable that Justin Lin is one of the reasons for the franchise to be what it is today. While Tokyo Drift, like 2 Fast 2 Furious, failed to replicate the magic of 2001’s  The Fast and The Furious, the film was enough to keep the franchise going until Vin Diesel’s Dom and Paul Walker’s Brian returned. Fast & Furious (2009) proved that those characters could still make great stories; Fast Five took the saga to the next level, and from then on, Fast & Furious became an established blockbuster franchise. All the qualities demonstrated by Justin Lin behind The Fast Saga were seen again in F9, a film that managed to bring solid box-office results despite the pandemic. Now that will all be lost with the director’s departure from Fast X.

Any director leaving a production a few days into filming is worrying by itself. In the case of Fast X, the situation becomes even more concerning given how the movie and its sequel are The Fast Saga’s final chapters. Considering that Justin Lin directed more than half of the Fast & Furious films, Hobbs & Shaw not included, there was no better name than him to helm the two-part finale. Although the reasons for the director’s departure are still unclear, the possibility that there was some kind of major creative conflict is also concerning.

Expectations for how the next two films will conclude Fast & Furious are very high, but Fast X just took a major hit by losing Justin Lin. It has been reported that Universal is looking for former Fast and Furious collaborators to replace Lin, which shows how crucial it is to get the best name possible for the finale. It remains to be seen if more details about Justin Lin’s departure from Fast and Furious 10 will ever come out.

Next: Every Justin Lin Movie & TV Show Ranked, Worst To Best

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