New Director to Take on ‘Fast and Furious 7,’ Series Staple Justin Lin Out

Justin Lin

In 2001, Rob Cohen gave us The Fast and the Furious, a race-to-the-finish movie stimulating enough to provoke a decade and counting of follow up features. The franchise’s sophomore turn, 2 Fast 2 Furious, sacrificed the life and luster of Cohen’s entry, amounting to a disagraceful hack job at the hands of director John Singleton.

But then, the road raging series found its true savior: Justin Lin, a visually-gifted director with only a few lesser known titles to his name at the time of taking on The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Lin has stuck with the series ever since this third entry, pumping out improvements with Fast & Furious, the admittedly invigorating Fast 5, and the highly anticipated Fast & Furious 6 later this year. But that’s where it ends for Lin — The Hollywood Reporter reports that the filmmaker will not return for the developing Fast and Furious 7.

Lin’s decision to pass on the project comes with the demanding schedule of Fast 7, the production of which would require his immediate participation for a summer 2014 release (meanwhile, he’s still working on post of the upcoming sixth entry. Lin is reportedly leaving on good terms with the studio and his team of engine-revving cast members, indicating that any future Fast and Furious movies (and you know there’ll be more) could well fall back in his hands.

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So who might handle Fast 7 in the absence of Lin? Franchise creator Cohen has a couple of projects attached to his name (a xXx continuation, among them), but nothing with a tangible future at this time. Singleton, too, has a free schedule. But Universal might be best off opting for a new hire: someone who can make poetry of the action, as our dear Lin does so well. It’s not easy making drag racing artistic.

Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter

[Photo Credit: Universal Pictures]

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