Justin Lin Had ‘Major Disagreement’ With Vin Diesel Prior to Departure

In shocking news last week, director Justin Lin stepped away from the Fast and Furious franchise, announcing that he would no longer be directing Fast X. While things were said to be amicable, a new report from The Hollywood Reporter seems to suggest otherwise.

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The report mentions that Lin — who was handling writing duties on the film alongside directing — was not happy with constant changes to the script, which included Universal and Diesel reportedly cutting key locations due to them being in Eastern Europe and possibly conflicting with the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Other issues with the script also arose, with the report mentioning that Lin eventually tried to “draw lines in the sand.” Things reportedly came to a head on April 23, 2022, when Lin had a “major disagreement” with Vin Diesel that led to a four-person meeting occurring after Diesel had new notes for the film. According to one source, Lin left the meeting and the film. “Justin finally had enough and said, ‘This movie is not worth my mental health,’” said the source.

According to a Universal spokesperson responding to the report, Lin’s creative differences with the film were with the studio, “not with fellow producers, cast or crew.” Shortly after leaving the project, on April 25, Universal and Lin came to an agreement to keep him on board the film in a producer role, but would see him leave the production of the film. Lin also reportedly gave his blessing to the crew of the film to stay on despite his departure, with Transporter and Lupin director Louis Leterrier announced as his replacement shortly after.

As far as the relationship between Lin and Diesel go, The Hollywood Reporter notes that Diesel’s presence in the franchise has grown exponentially, with the report saying that Diesel has “become his own personality to be reckoned with,” and someone who is a “dominant force” on set that is “not afraid to flex his ample muscle.” THR also notes that Universal is quietly feeling major pressure for Fast X to be a success, with the budget for the film already hitting close to $300 million without much marketing, with over $100 million of that reportedly going to above-the-line costs such as salaries for the superstar cast, which includes Diesel, Charlize Theron, and Jason Mamoa.

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Fast X will be directed from a screenplay written by Chris Morgan. Even though the official cast hasn’t been announced, it’s highly likely that franchise alums Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Sung Kang are expected to reprise their respective roles.