- Former director Justin Lin opens up about his departure from the Fast & Furious franchise, expressing love and support for the cast and studio.
- Reports suggest that creative differences between Lin and star/producer Vin Diesel led to the split, with Diesel having the biggest say in the matter.
- Lin’s departure caused production turmoil, resulting in a rushed rewrite and a decline in box office fortunes for the troubled movie.
Former Fast X director Justin Lin has spoken out about his abrupt and shocking departure from the production of the movie just days after filming began. Having helmed five installments of the ever-popular Vin Diesel-led action franchise, Lin seemed set to bring the story of Dom Toretto to a close with a pair of back-to-back movies. Now after two years, and in the wake of so many rumors, Lin opened up to Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast about his decision to abandon the franchise in its final lap. He said:
“I look back now, it’s like a year and a half, there’s nothing but love for the cast. Everyone jokes about family, family family, that’s how I feel. This is a crazy business, and to be able to go through 15 to 18 years with a group of people and to be able to just grow together, it’s very special.
“The studio has been nothing but trusting. It really just means everything to me. Whether I like it or not, I’m going to be linked to this franchise. Even when I was away between 6 and 9, I’m always rooting for it. There’s nothing but positivity.
“Whatever drama… I’m just kind of bummed it had to get out in the public. I’d rather have the characters speak for the franchise. Whatever happened, it shouldn’t be important. I was there, whatever they needed, whatever Louis [Leterrier] or anybody…I just want to be supportive. I think that’s the spirit of that situation and overall, that’s important to me.”
Why did Justin Lin Leave the Fast & Furious Franchise?
According to reports at the time of Lin’s departure from Fast X back in the spring of 2022, creative differences between the director and star – and now producer – Diesel came to a head in a way that the pair could not get around. Although there has never been any specific details revealed about what exactly caused Lin to abandon a franchise he has become synonymous with, there have been plenty of suggestions that he and Diesel just could not see a way to get what they both wanted from the sequel, and Diesel had the biggest say on the matter.
Following Lin’s departure, the movie production was thrown into turmoil, with Louis Leterrier being urgently drafted in to pick up the pieces, rewrite large parts of the movie and shoot it in an incredibly short turnaround time. Although this allowed the movie to be released in cinemas in May 2023 as an early summer blockbuster, the box office and reviews for the film continued to show a decline in the fortunes of the franchise, and the reported $340 million budget of the troubled production certainly didn’t help matters.
Now the Fast Saga is still heading towards a conclusion with Fast 11, but also in the mix is a spin-off movie starring Dwayne Johnson, who unexpectedly returned in the post credits scene of Fast X as his character Luke Hobbs. While there has been little revealed about that or the eleventh installment of the main franchise, we can probably expect to see some information being revealed soon.
Most of the Fast and Furious franchise can be found scattered across various streaming services, including Peacock, DirectTV, and FuboTV, or you can rent/buy the entire franchise via Amazon or YouTube.