'Fast Five' Director Justin Lin to Helm 'L.A. Riots' Instead of Spike Lee
After Spike Lee was once attached to direct the racially charged real-life drama L.A. Riots six years ago, it looks like the project has found someone else to sit in the director's chair now. Vulture reports Fast Five director Justin Lin is negotiating with Universal to direct the film for producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer at Imagine Entertainment. L.A. Riots chronicles the highly publicized beating of Rodney King and the riots that ensued after the four LAPD officers were acquitted of their charges. Sounds like something very different for Lin who has stuck to action with the Fast & Furious franchise in recent years. More below!
The film is somewhat timely once again with King drowning this summer, not to mention the comparable Trayvon Martin situation that has been ongoing since earlier this year. Six years ago when Spike Lee was attached, the script came from Red Tails writer John Ridley. However, since that film didn't really take off at the box office, and actually was slated to once be released the same year that the riots happened in 1991, I'm willing to bet a new draft will be written.
The closest Lin has come to drama like this is in Annapolis, but there's so much history and anger within this story, that it will be quite a challenge for a director who has been crafting big budget action tentpoles. One insider even told Vulture, "They didn’t want to make this movie for $35 million with Spike [Lee] four years ago, and with the way the business has changed, I can’t imagine they’re going to spend even $20 million to make it now.” Sounds like it will definitely be a low key release. However, much in the same way Michael Bay agreed to Transformers 4 if he was allowed to direct Pain & Gain, maybe Lin was really passionate about this film and made a deal for this along with his Fast & Furious sequel gigs.