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Justin Lin exits Fast & Furious 7

Justin Lin directs Fast & Furious

Story by Jack Foley

JUSTIN Lin has reportedly declined the opportunity to direct the seventh film in the Fast & Furious franchise.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the director behind Tokyo Drift and the three subsequent movies – Fast & Furious, Fast 5 and Fast & Furious 6 – has told studio bosses at Universal that he will not be returning for the seventh installment.

Insiders referenced by the trade magazine say that the decision was made because of Universal’s decision to put Fast 7 on an accelerated timetable. It wants the film ready for release in summer 2014, meaning that work would have to begin almost immediately, while Lin is finishing off on Fats 6.

He feels this would prevent him from turning in his best work.

Initially, Lin was to have directed Fast & Furious 6 and 7 back-to-back but that plan was scrapped early in the development process. Traditionally, there have been at least a couple of years between each entry.

But Universal is keen to keep one of its best franchises ticking over more regularly, particularly as it has fewer franchises than other studios.

The hunt is now on for a replacement director, with an announcement due as early as next week.

As yet, Lin has no further projects in development. He broke through with 2002’s Better Luck Tomorrow, which followed a group of Asian-American high schoolers, and also directed the boxing drama Annapolis in 2006.

But he has since been almost solely occupied with the Fast & Furious franchise.

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