Justin Lin may get back behind the camera for Fast & Furious 9, based on early reports. For a franchise that started off as a simple story about cars and family, Fast & Furious has grown to become one of the biggest franchises in all of Hollywood. In part of their rise, they've continued to attract new and big talent both in front of and behind the camera. Some of this stardom may be the cause for rifts within the "family" as the main line of films has been delayed in favor of a spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.
The push for Hobbs' spinoff, Fast & Furious 9 was recently delayed a full year to 2020. While Tyrese Gibson has already put the blame on Johnson for this delay, Universal is still moving forward with another installment in the franchise that will star all of the familiar characters. Not only that, but it now appears as though it may feature a familiar director as well.
THR is reporting that Justin Lin may be being lined up to return and direct Fast & Furious 9. This would mark his fifth entry in the long running franchise, but the first since Fast & Furious 6. He has stayed busy however, as he recently directed Star Trek Beyond for Paramount. But, with a slate of projects with unknown futures, it looks like he may jump in the driver's seat of this franchise one more time.
While recent directors James Wan and F. Gary Gray have further elevated the franchise to new heights, Lin was key in developing and growing the franchise. Even though he is responsible for Tokyo Drift, he also was the one to deliver arguably the franchise's best installment with Fast Five. By moving the franchise away from just street racing, and leaning more into the insanity of the concept, the franchise has gone on to incredible success.
Bringing Lin back would not only be a move likely welcomed by the franchise's fans, but also one from its expanding cast. With public feuds continuing to rise, bringing in a calming and familiar face like Lin may be exactly what the franchise needs to keep it all together. Gibson's recent beef with Johnson is just the latest in family drama for the franchise, following Vin Diesel and Johnson's spat during The Fate of the Furious and then Michelle Rodriguez's call for better female roles. Lin could help keep things civil upon his return, or he could view these continued distractions as reasons not to do the project. With it still being early in the process, it may take some time to learn whether or not he will return.
- Fast & Furious 9 (2020) release date: May 22, 2020