Justin Lin Confirmed for 'Fast Six', Talked 'Terminator' with Cameron
A couple of updates from rising director Justin Lin, responsible for Universal's highest grossing film of the year, Fast Five. Since the immense success and critical praise of that film, Lin has been offered numerous Hollywood projects, including most importantly a re-revival of the Terminator franchise with Arnold Schwarzenegger. "Terminator is something I've been having a lot of fun with," Lin recently told The Playlist, along with a few more updates. But before he gets to that, he's confirmed to return for Fast Six, or Fast & Furious 6, as Universal has already scheduled the sequel for the summer of 2013 after it did well this year.
Lin confirmed a few details and spoke with Playlist about his career progression. "It's been great after Fast Five," he said. "I feel very honored to be included, and I've talked to a lot of different studios, and they're some amazing franchises that I love… I've had to kind of walk away from a lot of stuff," including even Die Hard 5, which John Moore is now lined up to direct instead. THR is also reporting that Lin has passed on the Highlander remake, leaving that unwanted project, still in the works at Summit, without a director for the moment. He goes on to explain why he decided to pass on Die Hard and how he's now more selective:
"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."
Sounds like a good idea, leave that franchise alone, let someone else mess it up. Instead, he wants to build franchises from the ground up. While that's hard to do on something like Terminator given we're already four films in, and the last one wasn't very good, I'm not sure what he's going to do. And neither does he, apparently. "I don't know where it's going to lead, but I never thought at this level I'm going to be able to meet filmmakers and be in situations where they're that gracious and insightful and so inclusive." Here's what he's referencing: "Just even this week, I had a great meeting with Arnold and James Cameron, just sitting down unofficially," he reveals. "And 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." Lin adds:
"That's a franchise that I'm working on right now, but again, 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."
As of the news first hitting back in April, I wasn't sure how soon we'd even see another Terminator movie anyway. But with the Schwarzenegger debacle and Lin's success with Fast Five, I'm guessing things have changed considerably, and everything might be accelerating. For now though, Lin is sticking with the Fast & Furious franchise, and has to stay focused on that as it needs to be ready by May 2013. I'm very curious to see what Lin can do outside of this franchise, as he's been stuck racing cars for the last 6 years (besides a few episodes of "Community"), but I'd like to see his take on Terminator, especially after consulting Cameron and Schwarzenegger. This should be interesting. We'll continue to keep you updated on all of his projects.