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After passing up a role in 2 Fast 2 Furious, who would have thought that the Fast and Furious franchise would have ever survived without Vin Diesel? Come to think of it, who would have thought that even when he returned in 2009's Fast and Furious, the series would see itself plotting an endgame at 10 films in total? With that end in sight, Diesel has his eyes on the finish line, and he wants Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin to take him there.
During a piece in the recent issue of Wired, Lin was being profiled in connection with his work on the second Star Trek sequel, Star Trek Beyond, which is due out this summer. Of course, this momentous gig only came after Justin Lin had revved up the franchise engines of The Fast and The Furious, starting with third entry in 2006, a fact that Vin Diesel never forgot. He showed off this fact in the following testimonial, which also doubles as his pitch to bring Lin back to the fold:
I’m going to bring him back. Whenever we had a day off—even on Thanksgiving, his favorite holiday—it was Justin and me working on how far we could take it. Success comes from 10 years of that mentality.
Justin Lin took the Fast and Furious franchise by storm when he directed The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, which just so happened to be the first film that brought Vin Diesel back to the franchise as he made a cameo in that film's finale. Three more sequels, and a huge escalation in box office numbers later, Vin Diesel is looking to return the favor and bring back his franchise collaborator to cap off the story that only truly began when Lin and company started to tie it all together in Fast and Furious.
Of course, with all of this talk on Diesel's end about getting Lin back into the saddle, one has to wonder what Justin Lin thinks about coming back to the series that made his bones in Hollywood. Some would probably be too tired and ready to give up the game, while others might dive in head first at the opportunity. For now, Lin has left the world waiting for an answer, giving only the following tease:
Vin says you finish what you started, and he’s very persuasive.
Hopefully, that's Justin Lin's way of saying, "I'm waiting until I see what happens with Fast 8 and Furious 9, before I make any promises." After the stellar work that he did building the series to what it is today, finishing out with Lin at the helm is not only fitting, it's pretty much required at this point. Here's hoping that when and if Lin confirms his involvement, it's with the title The Fast and The Furious: Finish Line in mind, because what other title would possibly make sense for the series' swan song?
Star Trek Beyond beams into theaters on July 22nd, with Fast 8 being penciled in for an April 14, 2017 release date.