Justin Lin Steps Away From Directing Fast 10, Will Remain Onboard As Producer

The latest installment in the so-called Fast Saga has hit a pretty serious snag. "Fast X" has lost its director just as production was getting underway. Director Justin Lin, one of the chief architects of the multi-billion-dollar franchise, has stepped away as director just after cameras on the film had started rolling mere days ago. That means a new director will be needed to take his place and (pardon the pun) that person needs to be found fast.

According to Deadline, Lin officially parted ways with the director's chair but will remain on board as a producer. While the split between the filmmaker and Universal Studios is said to be amicable, it is also stated that dreaded creative differences got in the way. Unfortunately, we don't have more by way of specifics at this time. What we do have though is a statement from Lin on the matter, which reads as follows:


"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."

Lin has directed several installments in the series including "Tokyo Drift," "Fast & Furious," "Fast Five," "Fast and Furious 6," and last year's "F9." He is largely responsible for turning this from a series of movies about street racing and (relatively) petty theft into a global action blockbuster franchise. So losing him is no small thing, especially since this is supposed to be the first in a two-part finale for the main series of films.

So, what now?

For Universal, it is now a gigantic priority to get a new director in place as quickly as possible. That is no small task, as getting a new filmmaker up to speed on a production of this size that is already underway is a big ask. The report notes that several directors are already being discussed but no names have been revealed. For what it's worth, James Wan directed "Furious 7," which remains the highest-grossing entry in the series to date, though he's busy finishing "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" for Warner Bros. F. Gary Gray, meanwhile, directed the eighth installment, "The Fate of the Furious."

Plot details for the sequel are currently being kept under wraps but the cast will once again be led by Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto. The latest sequel has added some additional star power in the form of Jason Momoa ("Aquaman") and Brie Larson ("Captain Marvel"). Of note: The studio is not expected to delay the film as a result of this production pause but, depending on how things shake out, that could easily change. Given that the films have grossed more than $6.6 billion collectively at the box office up to this point, this is undoubtedly the studio's top priority right now. We'll be sure to keep you informed as the situation develops.

"Fast X" is set to hit theaters on May 19, 2023.