Justin Lin

Briefly: “Described as a four quadrant, live-action family adventure movie in the vein of Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, Justin Lin is now attached to produce Toymageddon for 20th Century Fox. The story, set in a “toy factory run amok” is based on a pitch by Tariq Merhab at the company Anonymous Content. A screenwriter is now being hired and, based on that, Lin could be interested in directing down the road. [THR]

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Kurt-Russell-The-Battered-Bastards-of-Baseball

How great is the story at the heart of the doc The Battered Bastards of Baseball? Only a handful of people have seen the film so far, which documents the history of independent baseball team the Portland Mavericks, which had a Hollywood pedigree and earned a huge fanbase thanks to earnest, accomplished play. The film just premiered at Sundance. There isn’t even a distribution deal set for the doc. Nevertheless, it is already set to be adapted into a dramatic feature, with Fast and the Furious director Justin Lin producing and set to direct.

Update: Actually, Todd Field (In the Bedroom, Little Children) will write and direct, with Lin producing, contrary to the first report about the project. That’s actually a very appropriate call, as we explain below.

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Bourne Legacy Jeremy Renner

Can you believe it? Yet another franchise sequel has been set for the summer of 2015. This time it’s the as-yet-untitled fifth Bourne film, directed by Justin Lin and starring Jeremy Renner. Universal also dated Luc Besson‘s thriller, Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson as a trained killer; read more about both below.

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Justin Lin

Briefly: Justin Lin is going from fast and furious cars to fast and furious fists. The director has just signed on to direct the next Bourne movie, which will follow Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) in a story written by Anthony Peckham (Sherlock Holmes). Universal is hoping for a summer 2015 release. [Deadline]

Section 6 MI6

Hollywood had a minor flashback to the Eighties and Nineties this weekend as studios fought tooth and nail over the rights to a high-concept spec script by a first-time writer. In the end, Universal outbid Sony and paid $1.2 million for the rights to Section 6 by Aaron Berg. The script is period spy thriller set during World War I, focusing on the formation of the intelligence agency MI6. One of the main characters is Sir George Mansfield Cummings, the service’s first director, who might have been an inspiration for M in the James Bond films. Read More »

denzel-washington-safe-house-cuffs

Eventually Universal is going to run out of manly actors to cast in the Fast & Furious movies. That won’t happen soon, but the end point will come faster if big names turn down roles.

New guy Luke Evans held down the fort as the bad guy in the most recent film, and [REDACTED, for the few people who haven't seen the film or been spoiled] will show up as the baddie in the next. The pattern of introducing a new character (typically a villain) at the very end of one film, before expanding their role in the sequel that follows, is something Universal evidently wants to continue.

in a piece about the general state of original tentpoles in Hollywood, Deadline reveals that Denzel Washington could have been the next guy to drive against Dom Toretto, but the actor wasn’t interested. Read More »

Fast and Furious 6 - Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster

After only a few weeks of release, Justin Lin‘s latest Fast and Furious film, Fast and Furious 6, is well on its way to being the franchise’s highest grossing entry. Pretty impressive for the sixth film in a series that started as a small, family-centric action film filled with green and orange cars. The latest film ups the ante with action and effects that push the bounds of our imaginations and believability. Things get so crazy this time around you have to check any expectation of reality at the door.

Part of the reason the Fast and Furious franchise has thrived under Justin Lin is that the director prides himself on practical action. When you see a tank crushing cars, they actually had a tank crushing cars on set. But in Fast and Furious 6‘s massive finale, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and the crew didn’t really bring down a huge aircraft…did they? Check out a brand new video detailing the scene’s effects below. Read More »

‘Fast & Furious 6′ – What Did You Think?

Fast and Furious 6 poster header

Cast your mind back to the release of 2 Fast 2 Furious, a film that was derided from nearly all corners, and then look at this week’s release of Fast & Furious 6. It took a decade, but Universal’s car-racing franchise has evolved into “event” status. Whether you like the films or not, there’s no arguing that under the stewardship of Justin Lin, who took over as director with the third movie, this series of films has exploded as a fan favorite. Lin knows how to manage action, and he’s had a long-term plan to consistently up the ante on that front.

Much more importantly, Lin realized that consistent characters are what bring people back to the films. He talked Vin Diesel back into the fold and then developed a suite of characters to fill out four individual films that ultimately work as one interlocked narrative. It’s an action-movie soap opera, sure, but one featuring precisely the sort of reliance on character that very few other action series get right.

The sixth film pushes outward in every direction: there are more characters and amped-up drama, and the action setpieces are more improbable and ridiculous than ever. Fast & Furious 6 won’t ever be held up as a major moral statement, but there’s a lot to be said for the series’ general tendency to trumpet values in friendship and family. There’s a sense of values here that could also be present in, say, the Die Hard movies, if the last couple McClane sequels weren’t such botch jobs.

With Fast & Furious 6 in theaters now, we’re curious to know how you feel about the film. Does the action work, and do the interlinked stories and characters provide enough meat to flesh out all the time between setpieces? Let us know in the comments below, where spoilers are allowed and encouraged. Read More »

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