Justin Lin has earned his status as one of the most in-demand blockbuster filmmakers of the moment. Not only did he completely turn around the Fast & Furious franchise in the span of seven years, but he's also behind the helm of the positively buzzed-about Star Trek Beyond. His success has rewarded him with many opportunities, including the chance to write and direct the in-development Space Jam 2... but will the live-action/animation hybrid film about cartoons and basketball players be next on the docket for the filmmaker? The answer to that question is a big fat "maybe," as Lin is contemplating a turn back to smaller projects before getting back into the studio tentpole world.
I had the pleasure of sitting down one-on-one with Justin Lin late last week at during the Los Angeles press day for Star Trek Beyond, and as we were wrapping up our chat about the new sci-fi film, I took the opportunity to ask about his plans for the future. Being a fan of the 1996 original and excited about the potential of a sequel, I asked if Space Jam 2 was the project he was interested in making next, and Lin explained why he's not entirely ready to commit to any single idea in the near future. Said the filmmaker,
Space Jam 2, I'm working on a script right now, so we'll see how that goes. But you know, it's kind of crazy, this business. I was all ready to go do my indie movie, and then I got the call from J.J. [Abrams], so this became the greatest detour of my career. But also, I'm in a really great place and you know, when I left Fast, I really wanted to try different things. That was eight years of my life, and I wanted to try different mediums and stuff - and all those opportunities are there, and I'm excited. For me it's all about putting myself in probably pretty uncomfortable situations, see if I can grow, and that's where I'm at right now. Hopefully after next weekend I'll get some sleep and then figure it out.
As mentioned, Justin Lin earned notoriety in Hollywood directing Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6, but there's a good deal more variety in his filmography than most give him credit for. Some will remember that he broke out in the industry thanks to his fantastic Sundance Film Festival hit Better Luck Tomorrow, and he's also worked a great deal in television (on shows like Community, True Detective, and Scorpion). So while he may have big projects like Space Jam 2 on his list of in-development projects, it's very possible that what he does next will be completely different from anything we've seen him do already.
Space Jam 2 doesn't have a release date yet, meaning that it's timetable is completely up in the air. For those excited to see Justin Lin's latest piece of work, however, the good news is that the wait is almost up. Star Trek Beyond is arriving in theaters this Friday, July 22nd, and be sure to stick around for more from our interview this week!