Well, it seemed like a foolproof plan. Just this week came the announcement, via star Vin Diesel’s social media platforms, that the new Fast & Furious film had begun filming.
To get to that stage with such a movie – and this one’s called Fast X – requires inevitably an inordinate amount of planning just to get to day one, and the production appeared in safe hands with director Justin Lin.
Lin, after all, is the go-to director for the franchise. He’s helmed the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and ninth instalments in the series, and has long been signed up for Fast X and whatever the next one is called.
After all, the idea here was to bring the saga in its current guise to an end with a two-part finale, of which Fast X was the opening chapter. The Infinity War to the upcoming Endgame if you will (an odd analogy perhaps, but less odd since the ninth Fast & Furious sent people into outer space).
But wait! What’s this? The fit appears to have hit the shan, with the news that Justin Lin has quit the movie just days into shooting. With the film set to shoot all over the summer, and in many locations around the world, it’d be fair to say this has come as something of a shock. Creative differences appears to be the drive – guffaw – behind the decision, with Lin posting a presumably agreed statement to the official Fast & Furious social media account explaining…
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As much has come as a surprise – basically, three days into shooting – it’s not a franchise that’s been without a few arguments in the past. Vin Diesel certainly seems to have a fluid Christmas card list and most notably Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson isn’t on it. The pair have traded barbs in the past, with Diesel trying – again, via social media – to lure him back to the saga for its finale, only for Johnson to laugh the suggestion off.
As Diesel is fond of growling in interviews, this is a franchise about “family”. It’s proper kitchen sink drama family stuff by the sounds of it, with people falling out all over the shop. Not that, obviously, anyone’s fallen out here, and Lin’s statement will clearly stop all questions and rumours. Cough.
Fast X’s release date remains unchanged. But the search for a new director is on, as second unit work picks up the slack on the shoot for the time being.