Justin Lin's First Movie After Leaving Fast X Has Been Announced

Justin Lin directing Vin Diesel in F9
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Director Justin Lin didn't wait very long to land a new directing gig after his surprising mid-production exit from Fast X, as it was reported last June that the filmmaker had signed on to make a live-action adaptation of the manga One-Punch Man. That movie is still very much in development, but it turns out that it won't be Lin's next directorial effort, as he will instead be going back to his indie roots with The Last Days of John Allen Chau.

News of this turn of events comes from Deadline, which says that Justin Lin will still make One-Punch Man, but that Sony is giving the director time to make another film while the in-the-works script goes through new drafts. Lin will be collaborating on the new drama with screenwriter Ben Ripley, who is best known for writing the sci-fi thriller Source Code starring Jake Gyllenhaal and the remake of Flatliners starring Elliot Page, Diego Luna, and Nina Dobrev.

The Last Days of John Allen Chau is based on a true story, and Ripley will be writing his script as an adaptation of an article of the same name written for Outside Magazine by journalist Alex Perry. The titular John Allen Chau was a missionary who believed that it was his purpose in life to bring Christianity to an uncontacted and protected tribe on an island in the Indian Ocean. As the title implies (so it's not exactly a spoiler), he was killed while on his mission.

Justin Lin is best known for directing Star Trek Beyond and the bulk of the Fast and Furious franchise (specifically : Tokyo Drift, , Fast Five, Furious 6, and F9), but fans will remember that he got his start in the industry making the 2002 Sundance Film Festival hit Better Luck Tomorrow. The Last Days of John Allen Chau will be his first non-blockbuster since he directed Finishing The Game in 2007.

Though we are only learning about the new film today, it is coming together very quickly. According to the trade report, financing for the project has been secured and production on The Last Days of John Allen Chau is scheduled to start in the spring. The article doesn't make mention of a distributor, but if things go well, one has to wonder if the movie could be ready in time for the fall festivals and possibly the 2023 awards season.

While Justin Lin moves on to make both his indie film and One-Punch Man, Fast X remains scheduled to be released this spring. Filmmaker Louis Leterrier replaced Lin shortly after his exit from the production, and the blockbuster sequel starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, and more will be in theaters everywhere on May 19.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.