Justin Lin To Adapt Broadway Play Chinglish Once He's Done With Fast & Furious

By Kristy Puchko 2012-04-24 15:07:45discussion comments
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Director Justin Lin has been caught up in the Fast & Furious franchise since helming 2006's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. But once Fast & Furious 6 wraps this spring, Lin is looking to change gears by producing and directing a movie adaptation of the award-winning and sidesplitting Broadway play Chinglish. Penned by Tony Award-winner David Henry Hwang, the culture clash comedy centers on an American businessman who travels to China on business, but unexpectedly finds love.

”As soon as I saw Chinglish on Broadway,” Lin tells Deadline, "I began to envision this smart and insightful cross-cultural comedy as a film." Beyond its charming love story, and spirited humor, Lin felt the play's ingrained political commentary made it a "very timely" story that would do well on screen. And so just months after the show closed its curtains on Broadway, Lin has secured the screen rights and is developing a production at which Universal will get first look.

On its face, Lin's leap from fast-paced tales of world-class car thieves to a witty comedy about miscommunication and international commerce may seem extraordinary, even ill-advised. But it's worth noting that Lin has also helmed several episodes of the keen comedy series Community, including the fan favorite "Modern Warfare," in which Greendale Community College is thrown into chaos in the overzealous spirit of a paintball showdown. Besides, even in the Fast & Furious movies, Lin has exhibited a sense of humor. Plus, Lin intends to keep true to Hwang's work, and has even brought him onboard to adapt Chinglish into a romantic comedy.

Hwang, who has previously adapted his play M. Butterfly into a screenplay for David Cronenberg's 1993 feature, feels confident that Lin will be a good fit for the material, saying, “I’ve loved Justin’s work ever since he burst on the scene with Better Luck Tomorrow, and it feels very right to be collaborating with him on the movie.”
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