Just last week it was announced that Justin Lin would not be returning to direct Fast & Furious 7. Now, Universal have selected horror maestro James Wan as their ideal candidate for the job. Wan has entered discussion with the studio to jump aboard, with talks expected to confirm his duties by the end of this week. One of the hottest franchises in Hollywood, the films have become big buck earners for all involved…as long as you can keep up with the pace.
Lin’s departure was announced after the studio made the decision to start shooting the next installment this Summer with the hopes of a Summer 2014 release. The director felt that the proposed schedule would be too rushed and so he dropped out. Besides, after helming four Fast And The Furious movies, it’s not a surprise that Lin is seeking newer pastures.
The studio’s announced shortlist earlier this week featured Jeff Wadlow (Kick Ass 2), Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) and Harold Zwart (The Karate Kid), without mention of Wan at all. For a filmmaker whose resume reads like the granddaddy of modern horror films, Wan is an unusual choice for Universal.
This summer he’s got two new flicks out, the sequel to the 2011 smash hit Insidious, and The Conjuring. In a similar move to Lin, his signing on for Fast & Furious 7 suggests a desire to break out into other genres. Although, the move to a racer boy franchise is unexpected.
In a press statement, Lin offered up support and praise for Universal’s decision to hire James Wan:
“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.”
With Moritz back to produce, scriptwriter Chris Morgan back writing his fifth entry for the franchise, and stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker confirmed, it looks like we’ll be seeing Fast & Furious 7 next Summer.
What do you think of horror king James Wan moving in to direct the next Fast & Furious? Have your say in the comments below.