Justin Lin Fast Five

Vin Diesel recently revealed that the seventh film in the Fast and Furious franchise would start filming this Summer in Los Angeles. That’s true, but it turns out the director of the past four films won’t be returning.

The Hollywood Reporter says Justin Lin will not return for Fast and Furious 7, which Universal wants in theaters Summer 2014. He’s currently finishing Fast and Furious 6, out May 24, and doesn’t feel like an accelerated time table would result in his best work.

According to the Hollywood Reporter article, Lin isn’t mad with the studio or star, just overwhelmed with the prospect of prepping the seventh installment now, while simultaneously finishing the sixth one, and then going right into shooting. Lin’s exit doesn’t change Universal’s mind, though. They have a major franchise on their hands, and will likely be hiring a new director very soon to take over the franchise from Lin.

This urgency to get Fast and Furious 7 in front of cameras lines up with what Diesel put online over the weekend:

There was an early screening in LA this week of Fast 6. The crowd reaction was surreal… and their demand for the continuation was powerful… It’s remarkable to think I first embodied this character in 1999… and the evolution continues. P.s. Filming begins this summer in LA, where it all started… talk about a studio in sync with the audience…

Fans would surely eat up another Fast and Furious movie next year, which is a year faster than we had to wait from Fast Five to Furious 6. However, you’d have to imagine scheduling will become an issue. For example, we know that Dwayne Johnson will be shooting Brett Ratner’s Hercules starting in May, also aimed at a Summer 2014 release. Maybe his role in the seventh (and final?) film will be truncated, or maybe they’ll schedule his days to the end of the shoot.

Either way, what it comes down to is this. Justin Lin will not be finishing the run of a property he helped transform from fun little action series to mega blockbuster franchise. What are your thoughts?

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