Justin Lin has stepped down as director of Fast X, the forthcoming 10th instalment in the long-running Fast & Furious franchise, shortly after production had started on film.
In an announcement made via a statement on social media, Lin wrote: “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.”
He continued: “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.”
— The Fast Saga (@TheFastSaga) April 26, 2022
Fast X started production on April 20, and the film had already began shooting, though Lin’s departure from the project is said to be amicable (per Deadline), with the move attributed to creative differences. A new director has yet to be named.
Lin originally joined the series with 2005’s Tokyo Drift, later going on to direct Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6 and, following a hiatus, last year’s F9. It was anticipated that he would direct both the 10th (Fast X) and 11th films in the series.
Fast X will still be released May 19, 2023 and will feature Jason Momoa, Brie Larson, Charlize Theron and Cardi B alongside longtime cast members such as Vin Diesel, Ludacris, Michelle Rodriguez, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Jason Statham. However Dwayne Johnson has confirmed there’s “no chance” of him returning.
Last week (April 21), Vin Diesel said that every Fast & Furious film is made to “honour” Paul Walker.
Walker played Brian O’Conner opposite Diesel’s Dominic Toretto in 2001’s The Fast And The Furious and appeared in almost every one of its subsequent instalments until his death in 2013.
Taking to social media as Fast X began filming, Diesel explained that “there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t want to turn back time, talk Pablo [Walker] out of heading back to LA that thanksgiving weekend. Every Fast film I make must, at the core, always honour my brother Pablo.”