A week ago Justin Lin declared that he would not helm the seventh and final (?) entry in the lucrative Fast and Furious Franchise. According to Lin the studio’s decision to fast forward Fast and Furious 7 until summer 2014 he would not have sufficient time to finish Fast and Furious 6.
After some rumors it was surprisingly quick confirmed that James Wan (Saw, Insidious) would helm part 7. Wan is currently working on his horror movie The Conjuring after delivering the surprise hit Insidious.
So the jump from Horror to Vin Diesel approved family drama might be a large one but stranger things have happened. Here is what Lin had to say about the decision:
“I’m extremely proud to be part of the Fast franchise,” said Lin. ”It is an experience I will always treasure. It’s time for me to move on to other things and I’m thrilled that Universal and Neal [producer Neal H. Moritz]have selected James Wan to lead the franchise into its new chapter.”
Say what you want about the franchise but a large part of why this series of action adventures has stuck around is to a large part because of Lin. He took over the franchise after the disappointing second part and while part 3 (Tokyo Drift) was a scriptwriter’s/actor’s nightmare the change in how the action was staged was a large step up from the cheap cgi chases in the second part. It would take Lin two more tries to land the smash hit he did with Fast Five which is the only reason I am so interested in the sequel. Plus the rumors of the after credits scene for Fast and Furious 6 sounds like something that might tie the franchise together for a really promising seventh part… but this is getting ahead of things. Let’s wait for part 6.
I can’t really understand the studio’s decision to not only rush it but super-rush it. Iron Man 2 had it tough when the 3 year gap was shortened to two years and this is a single year we are talking about. And contrary to initial reports Fast 6 and 7 were not produced simultaneously.
But maybe the studio fears that the franchise will be dead soon (an interesting assumption seeing the massive intake of part 5 and the projected success of part 6) or they will rely on part 6’s word of mouth to shot a sequel and market it as the “final installment” to create a sort of event movie.