It’s been a while since I last had some good news to write about the Fast and Furious franchise so this feels like a welcome pivot from all the feuds and blow-ups that have been going on inside the franchise. Mercifully, this has nothing to do with the Dwayne Johnson – Tyrese Gibson feud because I don’t want to talk about that anymore. I want to talk about positive developments for the franchise, and this definitely qualifies as one because Vin Diesel has just announced the man who will be taking the director’s chair for Fast 9 and Fast 10. Tip your hats, folks, because none other than Justin Lin will be returning to the franchise.
This is big news for a number of different reasons, though I will say that both James Wan and F. Gary Gray did phenomenal work on Fast 7 and Fast 8 respectively. It’s not an indictment on their work that the franchise ultimately went back with Lin. It’s simply about going back to the director that played the biggest role in shaping the Fast & Furious universe to what it is now. Remember, Lin is responsible for directing four of the eight movies in the franchise, including the three best ones in my mind: Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Furious 6. His return could bring the franchise back to the treatment that helped turn it into one of the biggest movie franchises in the history of cinema, or at least that’s the plan. More importantly, Lin could be the man that can help mend all the fences that have been broken because of all the nonsensical beefing among some of the movie’s biggest divas. Here’s to hoping then that Lin is up-to-the-task. It’s about time that some of the franchise’s stars fall back in line.
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Justin Lin isn’t the only one returning to the franchise
“Justin Lin’s return as the director of the ninth and tenth installments in the Fast and Furious franchise was confirmed by Vin Diesel”
Justin Lin’s return as the director of the ninth and tenth installments in the Fast and Furious franchise was confirmed by Vin Diesel on a Facebook Live stream. But, it wasn’t Diesel’s only announcement regarding the future of the franchise. As important as Lin is, a case can be made that Jordana Brewster is as important to the franchise, maybe even more. Imagine my surprise then when Diesel also announced that Brewster will also be returning to the franchise to reprise her role as Mia Toretto.
Brewster last appeared in Fast 7, which ended with her seemingly leaving the franchise with the death of Paul Walker, her on-screen husband. From a storyline perspective, it wouldn’t have made sense for Brewster to appear in Fast 8 without Walker. But, her absence was definitely felt, largely because the franchise seems to have diverted away from putting focus on its female protagonists. Michelle Rodriguez had her moments but not what we’ve come to expect. Natalie Emmanuel was there too, but it’s still unclear to me what she was doing there, especially since her supposed expertise overlapped with that of Ludacris’ character. Brewster is different though because like Rodriguez, her character has been around literally from the very beginning of the franchise. Fans also have a lot of emotional attachment to Mia Toretto because of her ties to Brian O’Connor, Walker’s character. Seeing Brewster back won’t bring Walker back, but it’s probably the closest thing we’re going to get to having a piece of Walker’s character return to the franchise.
I’m loving these announcements for all the reasons that I mentioned. Most importantly though, I love it because it’s about time we have some positive news come out of the Fast & Furious household. The beefs and feuds among the stars make for good fodder for a short amount of time. But it gets annoying after that. So yes, welcome back, Justin Lin and Jordana Brewster. Both of you have been missed, and we’re all excited to see you return to the Fast and Furious family.