Fast Five Director Signs Two Year Deal With Universal, Announces Production Slate

By Eric Eisenberg 2011-08-22 23:43:10discussion comments
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It wasn't a surprise that Fast Five made a lot of money. With the exception of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, all of the other films in the franchise made over $100 million at the domestic box office and the fourth installment, Fast and Furious, had made the most money yet. What was surprising was the fact that that Fast Five made $16 million more in its opening weekend than Fast and Furious and is the biggest opener in the history of Universal Studios (not to mention the film's international gross by the end of its run was aleast $240 million more than any other in the franchise). When that level of success happens people get handsomely rewarded and the person getting rewarded today is director Justin Lin.

THR has learned that Lin, and his newly formed Barnstorm Pictures, has signed a two-year first-look deal with Universal. While Fast Five is Lin's most recent sucess, the director has been working with the studio for years now, having also made the two previous Fast and Furious movies (not to mention that he directed three episodes of Community on NBC, of which Universal is a subsidiary). The filmmaker has become one of the most in-demand names in recent months, with rumors and deals connecting him to a new Terminator movie, Die Hard 5, and The Wolverine.

In announcing the deal, the trade also received the list of projects on Lin's slate with Universal. This list includes Fast and Furious 6 (which already has a May 24, 2013 release date); a sci-fi/crime project he's producing with Bobby Glickert, a former assistant; and a movie about a battalion of Japanese-America soldiers in World War II that "is the most decorated unit in American history." Lin has also said that he plans to return to his roots making smaller films, not just major tentpoles.

As a big fan of Better Luck Tomorrow I was disappointed when I first heard that Lin dedicated himself to the Fast and Furious franchise, but he's a talented guy and has truly done an amazing job building his career. I'm looking forward to seeing where he goes from here.
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