It looks like Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and the rest of the “Fast & Furious” team will need to find a new ringleader before they embark on a planned seventh adventure.
Director Justin Lin — who has helmed the last four films in the series, starting with 2006″s “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” — has decided not to return for the next installment.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the director broke the news to the Universal brass on Wednesday, citing timing reasons for his exit. In order to meet the studio’s accelerated production schedule, Lin would still be putting finishing touches on the upcoming “Fast & Furious 6” when pre-production on “7” would begin.
Originally, Universal wanted “Fast 6” and and “Fast 7” to be shot back-to-back, but that was changed early on in pre-production. The new plan is for “7” to be in theaters next summer, and Universal is searching for a quick replacement now that Lin is out.
2011’s “Fast Five” earned a whopping $626 million worldwide.
Lin’s ongoing involvement in the “Fast” franchise has already forced him to skip several other potential directing gigs, including a new “Terminator” film.
Who would you like to see direct “Fast & Furious 7”?