The man who turned the Fast & Furious franchise into a globe-trotting, action-heist phenomenon is coming back, hopefully in time to save the #FastFamily from imploding. According to Entertainment Weekly, Justin Lin, who directed Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6, is in “advanced talks” to return to direct the ninth and 10th films, likely the final installments of the franchise.
Lin is credited for ushering in a new era in the Fast & Furious series, steering the films away from their modest, street-racing roots and toward country-hopping espionage and massive action set pieces. Reminder: This is a franchise that began with dudes stealing DVD players; look at it now. Though Lin directed Tokyo Drift—a cult classic in its own right—the shift in style happened when he returned for Fast Five, which introduced Dwayne Johnson’s Special Agent Hobbs, sent Dom and the crew to Brazil, and featured an absurd final chase scene in which a bank vault demolishes a good chunk of Rio de Janeiro.
Through Lin’s creative direction in Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6—which lived on in Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious—Fast & Furious essentially became a superhero franchise where the basic tenets of physics needn’t apply, because it’s fun to see cars jump between skyscrapers.
Lin’s return would also be a welcome one for a cast that’s been mired in #FastFeuding as of late. After weeks of passive aggressive Instagram shit-talking—and Tyrese posting old videos of the Rock calling his music “soft dog shit”—there’s finally a lick of good news for the franchise. Perhaps Lin getting back in the director’s chair will simmer tensions between the franchise’s biggest stars. At the very least, it’s a good indication that the series will end on a high note, even possibly in outer space.