Why the ‘Fast and Furious’ Series Needs Director Justin Lin to Return if it Wants to Stay Relevant

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Universal)

Fans of high octane automobile explosion movies have reason to rejoice at the moment, as Vin Diesel has hinted that the upcoming Fast and Furious Nine (which we all hope will follow recent convention and be named Fine and Furious) may be directed by series veteran Justin Lin.

According to Diesel, Lin is in “advanced talks” to work on both the ninth and tenth Fast and Furious movies, meaning that we might be getting a lot more of his particular directorial vision before too long.

But who cares who directs the movies? Nobody comes to these films looking for a bold artistic style and clever camerawork. We all just want to see cars drive really fast while bald men grunt at each other, right?

Don’t be too quick to dismiss the work of a director on these films, no matter how much credit Vin Diesel attempts to take personally for the success of the franchise.

While there have been plenty of Fast and Furious movies over the past couple of decades, Justin Lin is pretty much responsible for the multi-billion dollar franchise that exists today.

Once upon a time, we got a relatively impressive but ultimately forgettable movie starring Dominic Toretto, as played by Vin Diesel, named The Fast and the Furious. Diesel then bowed out for 2 Fast 2 Furious, before popping up for a small cameo in the third movie.

Tokyo Drift was the first of these films to be directed by Justin Lin, but nobody really thought too much of it at the time. Once it released, that seemed to be it; the franchise had enjoyed relative popularity for a little while, but nobody was really expecting more.

Justin Lin on Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift
Source: Universal

It was only when Fast and Furious appeared a few years later, with a bunch of different actors from all three very separate films uniting together, that the franchise started to really grow in popularity.

Justin Lin returned to direct, but clearly had a new idea of what Fast and Furious could be. He was instrumental in morphing the series from its roots as a glorified heist franchise into a globetrotting spy thriller series.

Lin went on to direct the fifth and sixth Fast and Furious movies, essentially building the backbone of the franchise and catapulting it to the enormous heights that it’s now reached. We’ve since had two other very talented directors tackle the franchise, but it’s hard to argue that Lin is the glue behind the scenes that holds everything together.

Considering just how completely Lin was able to transform the Fast and Furious franchise when he began directing it, taking a couple of B-grade action flicks and turning them into a bold, inventive new longrunning series, it’d be wonderful to see him return to work a little of that magic again.

Dwayne Johnson in Fast and Furious
Source: Universal

Considering that rumors suggest the next Fast and Furious movie will involve space travel, and the fact that a spin-off will be taking Dwayne Johnson’s Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Shaw off to form a new shared universe, now is a good time for reinvention in the series, and Lin is the best possible person to provide the direction for the future of the franchise.

Vin Diesel knows it. The fans know it. All that’s left is to get Lin to sign on the dotted line, and the future of the Fast and Furious franchise will be looking pretty bright.