How much gas does the Fast & Furious franchise have left in the tank? If talk overheard by Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. is to be believed, Universal is already looking at concluding the blockbuster with a massive, multi-film finale, and the studio is keenly interested on getting series director Justin Lin back on board to help them do it.
Lin, who first directed The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift for the series, brought the property roaring back to life with 2009’s Fast & Furious. Following the success of that title, Lin skillfully retooled the series into a high-octane action-adventure franchise with subsequent entries Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6. By the time that sixth movie was released, to widespread acclaim and huge box office numbers, Universal must have thought it could expect to be making Fast & Furious movies for years to come.
But then, star Paul Walker died, and production on the now-titled Furious 7 hit a serious snag. Since the actor’s tragic demise in an unrelated car crash, co-stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Jordana Brewster, among others, have spoken of how difficult it was to continue filming without Walker. Perhaps Universal is ready to acknowledge their changed attitudes toward the franchise by concluding it – albeit in a grand fashion befitting such a flashy, action-packed series.
It makes sense that Universal would want to bring Lin back into the fold for any continuation of the franchise, especially something as ambitious as what Fleming claims is in the works: “a multi-part production that will lead to multiple movies shot together and will wave the checkered flag on the Fast & Furious franchise.” The helmer previously passed the torch to Saw director James Wan for Furious 7, but Wan has since announced that he’ll be writing and directing The Conjuring 2 and hence off the market for more years than Universal is likely willing to wait for another installment.
During his break from Fast & Furious, Lin had planned to direct Jeremy Renner in the upcoming Bourne 5 and also helm the first two episodes of True Detective‘s second season. And while that first project has been put on hold by Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass announcing another Bourne Identity sequel, Lin’s True Detective episodes are very much a go and will shoot shortly. After that, though, it may be time for Lin to again rev a Fast & Furious title for Universal.