As fans of ‘Fast & Furious’ will be aware, the series seems to be in a spot of bother at the moment – so who better to steer it back on course than the director who arguably made the series what it is today?
Yes, it seems that Justin Lin is being courted to return to take the helm on ‘Fast & Furious 9,’ after the sequel had its original release date pushed back a year to make room for a spin-off movie centred on Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw (which Shane Black is said to be in line to direct).
According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources close to the ‘Fast & Furious’ team say that Lin “may be lining up to return to the franchise and is the top man to helm the core entry of ‘Fast 9.‘”
The 45-year old Taiwan-born filmmaker is the most prolific director of the series, having called the shots on four instalments in a row, from 2006’s third film ‘The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift’ through to 2013’s ‘Fast & Furious 6.’ He has since directed 2016’s ‘Star Trek Beyond.’
Much as with JJ Abrams being brought to back to direct the troubled ‘Star Wars Episode IX,’ it would be entirely logical for Lin to return to ‘Fast & Furious.’ It was under his direction that the franchise metamorphosed from a series of fairly small scale street racer/crime thrillers, into the megabudget action blockbuster juggernaut we know today.
Series figurehead Vin Diesel has long since voiced his hopes that Lin would eventually return to the series for the intended finale ‘Fast & Furious 10,’ so it hardly seems outside the realms of possibility that the director could return sooner.
No doubt there would be hopes that the presence of the trusted director might ease the troubled waters behind the scenes on ‘Fast & Furious,’ a series steadily becoming more famous for its off-camera feuds than its on-camera action.
On top of the heavily reported clash between Diesel and Dwayne Johnson on ‘Fast & Furious 8,’ tempers are now flaring between Johnson and Tyrese Gibson over the Hobbs/Shaw spin-off movie. Plus we might recall that earlier this year Michelle Rodriguez threatened to quit the series unless “they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise.”
Still, there is no confirmation that Lin will direct ‘Fast & Furious 9’ at present; the director is also attached to the in-development ‘Hot Wheels’ movie and ‘Space Jam 2.’
‘Fast & Furious 9’ is lined up for release on 14 February 2020, whilst Johnson and Statham’s spin-off is due 16 July 2019.