After Director Justin Lin sudden exit last week over a disagreement with Vin Diesel, Emmy nominee Louis Leterrier has replaced him as the director of “Fast X”, which arrives in theaters on May 19, 2023. Leterrier is best known for directing “Lupin”, “The Transporter”, “The Incredible Hulk” and “Now You See.” The film will shoot back to back with the 11th chapter, but no word of he will also direct part 11.
Jason Momoa will play the villain in the film and other new cast members are Oscar winner Brie Larson and Daniela Melchior (“The Suicide Squad”). Confirmed to return are Vin Diesel, Jordan Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris , and Michelle Rodriguez. , I fully expect Jason Statham and Sung Kang to come back. Diesel also said that Cardi B, who had a cameo in “F9”, would return for the 10th installment. As previously mentioned Dwayne Johnson (who joined the franchise in Fast Five) will not be returning for the final two films.
Back to the Justin Lin exit, apparently there was some truth to Johnson’s claims about Diesel’s work ethics on set.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lin had enough of the constantly changing script, enough of the process of making a Fast movie, and enough of the managing from the movie’s driving star and fellow producer, Vin Diesel. Lin was handling writing duties on the movie and believed he had a locked script going into it. Diesel and Universal Pictures didn’t feel the same way. A key location that had been secured was cut due to its Eastern Europe location, amid the war in Ukraine. And the movie still hadn’t cast one of its villains yet. On top of this, the studio said it would be sending to London a writer to polish dialogue for some of the actors, a move that was expected but apparently not welcome by Lin at the time.
On April 23, Lin had a major disagreement with Vin 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.”
Universal Pictures released a statement saying Lin’s exit over creative differences was with the studio and not any stars or producers. That sounds like a lot of spin to try to protect Vin Diesel’s image, who has had a rep of being difficult across these most recent installments of the franchise. In the end, Universal took Lin seriously about wanting to leave and let him do so. He’s still on as producer and even though the crew was in limbo on what to do having worked with Lin on Fast 9, Lin was the bigger person and gave his blessing for them to stay.
Lin’s departure also wasn’t sudden. It was months in the making. Louis Letterrier has stepped in direct and apparently he will play “YES MAN” to Vin Diesel. He’s the real person in charge.