When it was announced last week that director Justin Lin had decided to leave Fast and Furious 10, or Fast X, as it is now known, speculation as to the cause immediately led to fingers being pointed at star Vin Diesel. Filming had apparently already been underway for a week on the latest Fast movie when Lin made the decision to leave, which is a fairly major deal for such a big-budget movie.
Unsurprisingly, reports have already started to surface that it was, in fact, due to a disagreement between Lin and Diesel that led to the shakeup. Diesel is famously protective of the franchise, and views himself as its leader, the one steering the ship. According to the Hollywood Reporter, when Lin started on the film, the script was still unfinished, locations had to be moved, and some of the casting wasn’t finalised.
The constantly moving target proved too much for the experienced Lin, who ended up having a “major disagreement” with Diesel. The four-person meeting had begun with Diesel having new notes. It ended with a slammed door. “Justin finally had enough and said, ‘This movie is not worth my mental health,'” says one source.
Things must have been pretty bad for them to come to a head for Lin, who has directed five of the previous movies in the franchise. The already extortionate budget for Fast X will continue to spiral for every day that it remains without a director. Stars such as Charlize Theron, Jason Momoa, and Brie Larson will have to be paid if Universal want to keep them on the project.
While many people immediately assumed that Diesel himself would take the directing reins, other names have started to circulate, such as Louis Letterier, director of The Transporter. The pressure to find someone suitable and resume filming must currently be immense.
Fast X has so far provided a little more drama and a lot less action than Universal were hoping for – check out our guide to the best action movies.
The Digital Fix could not independently verify the claims made by The Hollywood Reporter. In a statement made to THR, a Universal source denied Diesel was the source of the dispute, reportedly saying: “Any creative differences leading to Justin Lin’s exit were with the studio, not with fellow producers, cast or crew.”