Fast Six begins; Highlander loses director
Justin Lin is the name that connects the two stories in the title - Fast Six starting, Highlander without a director, and even two more films are connected with his name right now, Die Hard 5 and a new Terminator film. Two are because he's passed on directing them and two because he is directing them, and I'm sure you know which is which.
Justin Lin has been doing a lot of press lately and four films have emerged from those discussions, Fast Six, Highlander, Die Hard 5 and Terminator.
First of all let's tackle the films he's not directing. He's talked about why he didn't want to do Die Hard 5, and actually what comes out goes against the image that some would have of the director considering how much of the Fast and the Furious franchise he's been on.
"For many of the projects, I feel very privileged, but I just know it wasn't the right situation. And the first 'Die Hard' changed me as a kid when I watched it. But 'Die Hard 5' is just not something that I'm going to do, or I'm interested in."
Okay the quote through First Showing doesn't actually tell us that much about his reasons, but it does show that he's not all about the remakes, and Die Hard is a strong franchise with the fifth, and most likely last Die Hard film for Bruce Willis, promising to be a pretty big budget and huge spectacle of a film. It could be a great move for any director, but it's also a lot of responsibility.
That said considering what Justin Lin delivered with Fast and Furious Five or Fast Five (Filmstalker review), I think he could tackle that film, but he doesn't want to, and I think that says a lot about where his heart lies.
Next up is the talk of the Highlander reboot, and the news from The Hollywood Reporter that he's turned away from it. This mainly seems down to the fact that he's committed to other films and mainly two very big titles that are going to take up his time.
I don't think it's a bad move for him, Highlander is going to be a very difficult film to restart, and he has two sequels to deal with first.
That First Showing article also has the news that Lin has agreed to do Fast Six, which I hope is a temporary title, which is the next film he will make in order to release it for summer 2013.
We knew there were plans for a sixth film and in May of this year he revealed that it was all going ahead:
"After this big weekend, we're going forward... It's pretty much 100%. It's going to happen."
Still, further confirmation is nice, and as I said then, "pretty much 100%" isn't 100%. It looks like it now though. At that stage we'd already known for a month that Chris Morgan was writing the sixth film, and once you watched Fast and Furious Five (Fast Five) and stayed till the end you knew what direction the sixth would take.
Box Office Magazine through /Film have some quotes from Lin which reveal that he had already written a twelve minute segment for the ending of the sixth film, and so Morgan was going in with some very clear direction about where the franchise was going next.
I think the real question here is do they know it's going towards a franchise conclusion or the opening of another new chapter? Either way, Fast Six or Fast and Furious Six is on.
Okay, one final film for this marathon Justin Lin update, and that's Terminator. To be honest he's not really said that much about the film but what he has said is interesting. He doesn't know the direction that the next Terminator film will take, he doesn't know where they're going to go from the last, but he has already sat down and talked with both James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger about the project, unofficially that is, especially since Cameron isn't anything to do with the new film. Speaking through the First Showing article again he says:
"James is so gracious because he's not part of the project, he's not going to be producing, but it was great of him just as a filmmaker to take time out to just talk...
...if I'm going to be kind of the gatekeeper to it, I want to make sure that I can hopefully build it up the right way - and so far that's been the most fun. Just to be able to [pick] James Cameron's brain and for him to be so open even though he has no stakes in it, just as a human being, that's something that I will always remember as a part of my journey as a filmmaker."
You know when I hear quotes like that from film-makers you realise that they genuinely are interested in the material and in doing a good job. Think back to the early days of his career and consider, did you ever think he would be in the position of turning down Die Hard and Highlander to do a Terminator film, and another Fast and the Furious film? Well, one out of the four perhaps. Here's to him.