Fast X Director Justin Lin Reportedly Quit Franchise After "Major Disagreement" With Vin Diesel

More details have come out regarding director Justin Lin stepping down from Fast X, including a reported "major disagreement" with star Vin Diesel. Over the weekend a report came out that stated how Lin quit Fast and Furious 10 because of how "difficult" Diesel had become to work with. Vin Diesel not only stars in the blockbuster franchise, but is also one of its producers. According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, Lin decided he finally had enough of dealing with constantly changing scripts, the pressure that comes with directing a Fast & Furious movie, and enough of Diesel's micro-managing.

Lin and Diesel reportedly had a "major disagreement" on April 23, only days after production had begun on Fast X. What started as a simple meeting between four individuals when Diesel offered up some new notes then escalated to the point where someone slammed a door. "Justin finally had enough and said, 'This movie is not worth my mental health,'" one source said. A statement released by a Universal Pictures spokesperson reads: "Any creative differences leading to Justin Lin's exit were with the studio, not with fellow producers, cast or crew."

A settlement was reached between Lin and Universal on April 25th for the director to exit the project, and April 26th saw Lin's official announcement on the Fast Saga social media accounts. "With the support of Universal, I have made the difficult decision to step back as director of Fast X," Lin said.

"I've never seen anything like it. Lin's giving up $10 or $20 million [as director]," a veteran producer not involved with Fast & Furious told the NY Daily News. According to the source, "Diesel shows up late to the set. He doesn't know his lines. And he shows up out of shape." 

Justin Lin has directed five films in the Fast & Furious franchise, beginning with 2006's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and ending with last year's F9. However, one of the biggest films under his belt was 2011's Fast Five, with help from Dwayne Johnson propelled the franchise from simple street racing to action-adventure spectacles. After F9 was repeatedly hit with delays due to the pandemic, there was increased pressure to go even bigger with Fast X. Budget had reportedly become a key factor in some of the Fast X tension behind the scenes.

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The Fast and Furious 10 budget was reportedly hitting towards $300 million, even without marketing and publicity added in. Plus, Fast & Furious' ever-growing cast list with big names such as newcomers Charlize Theron, Jason Momoa, and Brie Larson, along with mainstays like Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, and Tyrese Gibson, quickly add up. Franchise star Vin Diesel is the driving force and figurehead for the films, who reportedly has a major hand in vetoing every action sequence pitched by writers. "The whole process is a mosaic that never stops moving," an insider with close knowledge of the Fast & Furious movies alleges.

All is not lost, however. Louis Leterrier, who directed The Incredible Hulk for Marvel Studios and the first two Transporter films, is set to replace Fast & Furious franchise filmmaker Justin Lin as the director of Fast X. According to Variety, the French filmmaker "beat out numerous candidates" and was the first choice for Universal Pictures, who reportedly considered F. Gary Gray (The Fate of the Furious) and David Leitch (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw) in their search said to cost $600,000-$1 million per day after Lin exited just days into production on the 10th chapter in the Fast & Furious saga.