Louis Leterrier, who has made films like The Incredible Hulk (2008), Clash of the Titans (2010), and Now You See Me (2013), will replace Justin Lin as the director of Fast X, the tenth instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise.
The news comes about a week after the franchise’s long-time director Lin announced his exit. He had said, “With the support of Universal, I have made the difficult decision to step back as director of Fast X, while remaining with the project as a producer.”
While the reason behind his exit is unclear, it has been reported that professional differences had cropped up between Lin and actor Vin Diesel, who plays the lead character of Dominic Toretto in the franchise.
Diesel had announced the title of the tenth instalment, in April, and shared that filming was underway.
Universal Pictures reportedly paused production on the main unit following Lin’s exit, while searching for his replacement. Although work on the second unit continued in the UK, this pause in the main production is said to have cost Universal somewhere between $600,000 to $1 million a day.
With Lin’s exit, it is also unclear if Fast X will now be the last film in the franchise, or if there will be another part after it, as was originally planned.
F9 hit screens amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It became the first Hollywood film to collect over $500 million at a time when the pandemic was at its peak.
Aside from Diesel, the film also featured Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster, and Sung Kang as principal cast members, alongside Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, and Charlize Theron. They are all expected to return for the upcoming film.
In addition to the returning cast members, Jason Momoa and Brie Larson have also joined the team of Fast X. While information surrounding their characters still hasn’t been made public, it was reported earlier that Momoa is to play one of the antagonists in the upcoming instalment.
The franchise began with the 2001 film The Fast and the Furious. There are ten films in the franchise, so far, including the spin-off movie Hobbs & Shaw (2019). Actors Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson have also made appearances in the earlier films.