Fast & Furious director Justin Lin has stepped down from Fast X, and now the race is on to find a replacement as it’s costing Universal an absolute fortune.
According to Variety, the director’s quick exit from the upcoming Fast & Furious sequel has left the studio forking out up to $1 million per day to keep the production in limbo.
“The production is burning through cash to keep key crew and cast members in limbo,” they explained. “Sources from different studios with experience replacing directors midstream estimated that it could be costing Universal upwards of $600,000 to $1 million a day.”
After just one week in production, director Justin Lin stepped down from Fast X.
“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,” he said in a statement.
It’s thought that his hasty exit at the start of the shoot may have been to keep costs down in his wake – beginning expensive stunt work or set pieces would have pushed the studio’s costs even higher while finding his replacement.
“Over 10 years and five films, we have been able to shoot the best actors, the best stunts, and the best damn car chases,” he added. “On a personal note, as the child of Asian immigrants, I am proud of helping to build the most diverse franchise in movie history. I will forever be grateful to the amazing cast, crew and studio for their support, and for welcoming me into the Fast family.”
Of course, there’s also the matter of the film’s busier stars…
Jason Momoa and Brie Larson are both dedicated to other big studio franchises, with the pair suiting up as Aquaman and Captain Marvel respectively. Any delays to Fast X could affect their already busy schedules… and that could cost the studio even more to sort out.
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As for who will take over at the helm of Fast X, fans are already pleading for James Wan.
He’s already familiar with the Fast & Furious franchise, having directed Furious 7 back in 2015. The only problem is his availability – currently, Wan is deep into post-production on DC’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
So, it looks as though Universal may have to look elsewhere. But for now, we’ll have to wait and see.
Fast X stars Vin Diesel as Dom Toretto alongside Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Jason Momoa, and Brie Larson.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.