If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Who would have thought 'The Fast and the Furious' would spawn a franchise this prolific? Throughout the course of the series, which will mark its sixth entry this year, the roster of central characters has fluctuated more than the names on the director's chair. That's because Justin Lin has been at the helm since third installment 'Tokyo Drift.' Now it appears his reign is coming to an end. Lin has informed Universal that he will not return to direct 'Fast & Furious 7,' which was set to begin shooting immediately after 'Fast 6.' Evidently, the issue here is that Universal is so eager to continue this franchise that they put the seventh installment on an accelerated timetable; slating it for a summer 2014 release. This meant that Lin would've had to start working on 'Fast & Furious 7' before post-production was complete on 'Fast 6.' Lin felt this rush would not allow him to do his best work. Franchise exhaustion is said to be another factor in Lin's decision. Since his 2002 breakout 'Better Luck Tomorrow,' Lin has directed little else but the 'Fast & Furious' films. No word yet on when Universal will begin its search for a new director.
In 2006, if you had asked me whether I would be disappointed to see the director of 'The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift' depart after helming only an additional three 'Fast & Furious' movies, I would have erupted into laughter. However, Lin has not only improved his own proficiency as a director with each new film, but in fact has been steadily improving the franchise as a whole. For example, he directed the first entry in the series to feature neither Vin Diesel nor Paul Walker, which is part of the reason why 'Tokyo Drift' is considered to be the worst sequel by a large contingent of fans. From there, learning from this mistake, he not only reunited Diesel and Walker, but began bringing back as much of the original cast as possible, with 'Fast Five' ultimately gathering an assortment of characters from all the previous movies in the series. Not to mention the fact that The Rock came aboard under Lin's watch, and turned out to be an inspired acquisition for the franchise. I am indeed sad to see him go, but I have to tip my hat to the guy for not wanting to rush through the next movie and possibly move backwards quality-wise; demonstrating personal standards even in a franchise as silly as this one.
What do you guys think? Disappointed Lin is departing? Who would be your choice to replace him for 'Fast & Furious 7?'