After taking the Fast and Furious franchise to a whole new level in recent years for Universal, Justin Lin is now stepping behind a new series for the studio, with word surfacing that he’s found his follow-up to Fast and Furious 6, and will helm the next instalment in the Bourne franchise.
Deadline reports that Universal has tapped Lin to direct the movie, which serves as a sequel to last year’s The Bourne Legacy.
That movie of course took the franchise in a new direction, with Jeremy Renner taking the lead in place of Matt Damon, starring as Alex Cross in the action-thriller. Legacy netted just over $275m. for the studio at the global box office, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the next movie rises that much higher under Lin’s direction.
When he came on board for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, everyone knows that the series hadn’t been doing its best in critics’ eyes, despite 2 Fast 2 Furious out-performing the original and brilliant The Fast and the Furious.
Partnering with screenwriter Chris Morgan, Lin very smoothly switched gears, using Fast & Furious as a transition that saw the franchise move away from streetracing and towards the heist movie, and the payoff has been incredible.
Helming the third, fourth, fifth, and most recently sixth instalments in the series, Lin’s contribution to the franchise has come in at just under $2bn. for Universal around the world, which is a huge sum for any one director to bring in, especially in just four movies. So it makes a lot of sense that the studio would want to keep him on their side, and with the most recent Fast & Furious movies earning audiences’ as well as critics’ approval, it’s a real no-brainer for Universal to want Lin to take the helm for the next instalment in the Bourne franchise.
When the studio announced that they wanted Fast and Furious 7 in cinemas for Summer 2014, Lin decided that having to go into pre-production on the sequel whilst simultaneously being in post- for Fast and Furious 6 would mean he couldn’t give his full attention to either, and ultimately opted out of directing Fast and Furious 7 (enter James Wan on that front). With word that the studio is now eyeing a Summer 2015 release date for the next Bourne movie, it looks like this is very likely to be his next project to follow on from this year’s hugely successful Fast and Furious 6.
Renner is set to return as Alex Cross once more, with Anthony Peckham (Sherlock Holmes, Invictus) responsible for the script.
No word yet on exactly when in Summer 2015 the studio is eyeing, but the season is clearly continuing to become one of the biggest blockbuster-heavy periods of all time.