It was only a matter of time before the real story behind Fast X director Justin Lin's departure came to light. A report from the New York Daily News earlier today hinted that it was over differences with actor Vin Diesel, and now The Hollywood Report is corroborating those reports with an in-depth story of its own.
According to THR, Lin's decision to quit was a spur of the moment decision driven by differences of opinion over the script. Where Lin considered the script finished, Diesel and Universal apparently disagreed. The conflict apparently came to a head when Diesel showed up with additional notes on April 23, leading to a shouting match that ended with a slammed door.
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Lin quickly reached a settlement with the studio that would see him remain as a producer. The news that he was stepping down was revealed in an official statement in which he spoke appreciateively of working on five films over 10 years, but did not mention the creative differences that fueled his decision to quit.
In the wake of Lin's departure, Fast X's production was paused, likely costing Universal hundreds of thousands of dollars per day. A replacement was announced earlier today, with former Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier taking his place.
Aside from the reported disagreement between Lin and Diesel, the story also hints at other issues with the production, including a key location that was cut due to the war in Ukraine. In addition, a key villain has reportedly still yet to be cast, though Charlize Theron is already confirmed to be returning. Lin apparently also didn't take kindly to the studio sending in another writer to polish the dialogue.
Meanwhile, Fast X's budget continues to grow, with THR reporting that it is already near the $300 million market even without the marketing and publicity spend. Like most movies, Fast X has had to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 era amid various delays.
Fast X is currently slated to release on May 19, 2023, with Jason Momoa and Brie Larson confirmed to be part of the cast.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.