Lin left the project less than two weeks into filming, forcing Universal to pause production while it scrambles for a replacement at an estimated cost of $600,000 to $1 million a day. According to the New York Daily News, the filmmaker had simply had enough of Diesel’s unprofessionalism. “Diesel shows up late to the set. He doesn’t know his lines,” said an unnamed source. “And he shows up out of shape.”
The franchise star must have really pushed Lin to his limits, as the director left behind a “$10 or $20 million” payday by exiting the movie. What’s more, Lin was meant to direct both Fast X and Fast 11, set to be the final entry in the lucrative series, a job which is now obviously in question. It all brings an abrupt end to Lin’s longtime involvement in Fast and Furious, as he helmed five entires in the series, including the franchise-revitalizing Fast Five in 2011 and last year’s F9.
This is not the first time Diesel’s work relationships have apparently impacted the Fast franchise. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson infamously refused to return to the main series after 2017’s The Fate of the Furious due to a beef with Diesel, instead starring in the Hobbs & Shaw spinoff alongside Jason Statham. Johnson most recently rejected a public plea from Diesel to rejoin the Fast team, calling his former costar’s social media post “manipulation.”
“No one is dissing Vin Diesel on the record, but everyone knows,” said the Daily News’ source.
A replacement for Lin has yet to be announced, meaning the cast of Jason Mommoa, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Charlize Theron, and newly added Brie Larson are all in limbo. Fast X is targeting a May 19th, 2023 release, so Universal is now in a race with itself to find a new director to steer this seemingly fractured family. Update, 12:45 p.m. ET: Deadline has it that Universal has indeed lined up a replacement: Louis Leterrier. While a deal has yet to be finalized as scheduling issues are worked on, the studio reportedly has the Now You See Me filmmaker at the top of their list.
Leterrier has plenty of blockbuster chops, having helmed the first Now You See Me movie, as well as The Incredible Hulk, The Transporter and Transporter 2, Clash of the Titans, and Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance series.