The Director Who Walked Away from Fast and Furious Is Going Indie — Again

After spending 15-plus years as the brain behind the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, Justin Lin has lined up his first post-car racing film. The filmmaker, who left “Fast X” over creative differences last year, is set to direct “The Last Days of John Allen Chau,” IndieWire has confirmed.

The film, an indie based on the 2019 Outside Magazine article by Alex Perry, will represent something of a return to Lin’s roots. The director first rose to prominence with several independent films like “Shopping for Fangs,” 2002 Sundance title “Better Luck Tomorrow,” and 2007’s “Finishing the Game.” Since 2006, however, Lin has become best known for his work on the blockbuster “Fast and the Furious” movies, directing “Tokyo Drift” and the following four titles in the series. After handing the franchise off to James Wan and F. Gary Gray after “Fast and Furious 6,” he returned to the director’s chair for 2021’s “F9,” and also directed “Star Trek Beyond” in 2016.

Like the original article, “The Last Days of John Allen Chau” focuses on the title character, a man who goes on a perilous journey to meet the reclusive tribes of the North Sentinel Island. Ben Ripley, best known for producing the films “Source Code,” “Boychairs,” and “Flatliners,” will pen the script.

Lin was originally set to direct “Fast X.” He is still credited as a writer and producer on the film but was replaced by “Now You See Me” director Louis Leterrier. Lin reportedly left the film, set for release in May, a few days into production after a major disagreement with franchise star Vin Diesel.

That said, Lin isn’t abandoning the world of blockbusters just yet. At Sony, the director is still tapped for the upcoming feature film adaptation of “One Punch Man,” the hit Japanese manga series from anonymous artists One. The manga, about the depressed superhero Saitama with the ability to defeat any opponent with a single punch, has sold over 30 million copies worldwide.

Lin and his production company Perfect Storm are repped by CAA and Sloane, Offer, Weber, Dern. Ripley is repped by Brillstein Entertainment, Verve and Stankevich Law.

Deadline was the first to report on Lin’s newest film.

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