After Fast X Director Justin Lin Dropped Out, Michelle Rodriguez Says New Director Brought Something Fast Hasn’t Had For ‘A Very Long Time’

Michelle Rodriguez riding motorcycle in F9
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

The Fast & Furious franchise is one of the most popular, and financially successful, film franchises going today, and the series is in the middle of filming its tenth entry. While all the popular characters fans love will be back in Fast X and several more impressive names are joining up, one person who won’t be back is frequent franchise director Justin Lin, but star Michelle Rodriguez says that new Fast X director Louis Leterrier is adding something special to the new film.

Fans were more than a little concerned when Justin Lin, who has directed five of the Fast & Furious movies to date, stepped aside from directing Fast X due to unspecified creative differences.  Lin has since signed on to direct a live-action One-Punch Man movie.  In his place was brought Transporter director Louis Leterrier. Speaking with THR at SDCC, Michelle Rodriguez said that, while she was as nervous as anybody to see Lin leave after two weeks of filming, Leterrier came on board with an incredible amount of energy and love for the franchise that has excited everybody in a way they haven't in a long time. Rodriguez said… 

He came with all this energy of love. We haven't had that in Fast and Furious for a very long time where we get somebody excited who's a real fan and who really wants to take it places that it hasn't gone before. We've been at it for 20 years, bro. After all that time, you get jaded and kind of forget what you do it for [until] a director like Louis comes in and reminds you, 'This is beautiful. Let's go make magic.' We're so lucky to have him bro.

Even when you’re making one of the biggest movie franchises in the history of the world, it’s easy for it to just become a job, just like any of us can get lulled into a routine. Michelle Rodriguez indicates that there was maybe some of that in the cast of Fast X, but now seeing somebody new come in and be excited to be a part of it all has helped everybody remember when they were excited too.

Louis Leterrier certainly isn’t the only person to join Fast X and clearly be happy to be there. Jason Momoa and Brie Larson have also joined the franchise with the new installment, and based on set pictures and videos both of them are just as thrilled to be on board. 

And it’s certainly true that fresh blood can mean new ideas. Louis Leterrier may have ideas for what to do in Fast X that we simply would not have seen otherwise. While he may not have the experience in the franchise that Justin Lin had, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.