Justin Lin has experienced a diverse and eclectic career as a Hollywood filmmaker. Between raw action franchises like the earlier Fast & Furious movies and more recent forays into sci-fi with last summer's Star Trek Beyond, he has proven himself extremely capable of taking on a wide variety of projects. His latest endeavor will see him team up with Netflix to tell a dark and gritty Los Angeles-based cop drama, but the timing of the announcement now has us wondering whether or not he will even return to the Federation for the fourth Star Trek movie.
According to a report from The Tracking Board, Justin Lin has officially signed in to helm The Stand Off for Netflix. The latest in a series of Netflix collaborations with A-list Hollywood directors (including David Ayer and Martin Scorsese), The Stand Off tells the story of a Los Angeles SWAT team facing off against the Black Panthers in 1969. It certainly seems like an enticing project (and one ideally suited to Justin Lin's particular strengths as a filmmaker), but it also seems like a solid indication that he may not return to the Star Trek films at all.
Before we go any further, it warrants pointing out the fact that Justin Lin has yet to officially sign on to direct Star Trek 4. That being said, Star Trek Beyond was generally well received by fans and critics, so conventional wisdom seemed to dictate that he would come back for another adventure aboard the Enterprise. His involvement in The Stand Off does not explicitly prevent him from working on Star Trek 4, but his commitment to this Netflix project (coupled with the fact that he's already committed to work on a Hot Wheels movie) seems to indicate that he may not be the frontrunner anymore.
If Justin Lin doesn't return to the Star Trek franchise, it will undoubtedly prove interesting to see who steps in to replace him. J.J. Abrams has already admitted that he doesn't want to direct more sequels for franchise films, so we're now back to square one. The Star Trek series has proven itself to be incredibly malleable over the course of the last few years, so anyone from James Wan to Joss Whedon seems like a solid choice. Star Trek is certainly now on excellent footing due to the solid work put in by Lin during the latest film, so anyone who takes over will have a strong franchise and some big shoes to fill.
We will bring you more information related to this situation as new details become available to us. The Stand Off and Star Trek 4 do not have set release dates yet. For more information related this year's major film releases, take a look at our 2017 movie premiere schedule and fill out your moviegoing calendars accordingly.