How Vin Diesel Worked Hand-In-Hand With Justin Lin On The Fast Franchise

Vin Diesel has had a reputation for being very hands-on with producing the "Fast and Furious" films. The actor has been the face of the franchise since the release of the first "The Fast and the Furious" in 2001 and has been very vocal about his involvement and passion for the series of films. The passion for the series isn't on a superficial, movie star publicity level, either. According to long-time "Fast and Furious" director Justin Lin, the actor who plays Dominic Toretto is deeply embedded into the world of the "Fast" movies. 

With nine films completed and two more on the way to conclude the Fast Saga, Vin Diesel's involvement in the series doesn't seem to be waning. From behind-the-scenes photos and videos on social media describing his love for the project, to his close collaboration with the filmmakers behind the camera, Vin Diesel's passion and love for his "Fast" family is a large part of what keeps these films going.

Exploring every story beat

In an interview with Men's Health, Justin Lin, director of multiple fast films and most recently "F9 The Fast Saga," talked about Vin Diesel's hands-on, collaborative effort on the "Fast and Furious" movies that they've worked together on:

"There's a filmmaker instinct in Vin, for sure. But he never shows up and says, 'We should shoot at this angle or that angle. . . .' By the time we get on set, every beat has been talked through — like, thoroughly. And explored a thousand times. That's what I love about Vin: As we're developing, we're always dramaturgically breaking down every scene. It's been two years of that before we even film."

With Vin Diesel having a producer credit on every film since the semi-reboot "Fast & Furious" in 2009, this intricate collaboration is unsurprising. With how much of a significant role Dom Toretto plays in nearly every "Fast" film, Vin Diesel's need to ensure that his character meets his standards makes sense. Especially in the context of ridiculous but hilarious scenes like Toretto destroying a parking garage to beat Jason Statham's character Deckard Shaw in a "street fight" in "Furious 7."

Justin Lin says in the same interview this collaborative process between himself and Vin Diesel "built the foundation for the next chapter." But what happens now that Lin has departed the project?

Fast X and a new collaborative partner

When news broke out that Justin Lin would be leaving the upcoming "Fast X" in the middle of production, there was an air of uncertainty regarding the quality of the film's story (and a certain suspicion that Diesel's enthusiasm for the filmmaking side of things was starting to wear thin for Lin). Lin has widely been considered responsible for some of the best films in the series; projects like "Fast Five" had given the series a fresh and exciting new feel, upping the ridiculousness of the stunts and the heart. Having directed more "Fast" films than any other director, the original intention to have him end the saga with back-to-back films was an exciting prospect. 

With how much Justin Lin emphasized the working relationship between himself and Vin Diesel to bring the upcoming "Fast X" to life, one has to wonder: how will that carry over with the new "Fast X" director, Louis Leterrier? Only time will tell how "Fast X" turns out with Justin Lin stepping down. One thing is for sure: Vin Diesel will undoubtedly continue his hands-on approach to the story and characters of the upcoming "Fast X." I look forward to whatever insane physical feat Dominic Toretto accomplishes next.