F9’s Justin Lin Was ‘Baffled’ And ‘Upset’ Over Han, But Knows How He’ll Get Justice For Han

The coming release of F9 brings the highly anticipated return of Sung Kang’s Han Lue following the social media movement #JusticeForHan. Since the F9 trailer shockingly revealed Kang’s involvement in the next Fast and Furious movie and promised “justice is coming” for the Tokyo Drift character, the plotline has become one of the most hotrod topics of the coming film that coincides with director Justin Lin’s return to the franchise.

Justin Lin brought Han, who'd first appeared in his film Better Luck Tomorrow, into the Fast and Furious fold in 2006 for Tokyo Drift. Although the character died in his first foray into the Fast franchise, the character has been part of each of Lin’s movies from the series including 2009’s Fast & Furious, 2011’s Fast Five and 2013’s Fast & Furious 6. For the two movies in the main Fast & Furious film series Lin has been away, fans have been campaigning for #JusticeForHan, and we’ll seemingly get it for F9.

The director spoke about his beloved character during his interview on CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast, sharing how he felt about the movement following his prior exit from the series:

When I came back, the main drive wasn’t #JusticeForHan, it was this idea of exploring the theme of family, but through blood. I was very excited about that because I knew that if we did that, there’s an opportunity to explore the origin of this mythology and we get to solidify it. But then, being away and I’d heard about this #JusticeForHan movement – at first I didn’t even realize it was my Han. I thought we left, I came with him and I left with him and I was cool with that. But when I found out what happened with him I was just as baffled and upset because I felt like this is one of the most beloved characters and the way it was treated … I think maybe being Asian American and also so close to me and my journey, it definitely did strike a nerve, so I felt like we had to do something.

As the trailers tease, Han Lue looks to be in fact alive following two major scenes in the series that show him dying in a car crash at the hand of Jason Shatham’s Deckard Shaw. We don’t yet know how Sung Kang’s character is back and snacking about, but F9 is expected to answer the call fans shouted out. Justin Lin spoke about his reaction to the movement with these words as well:

I actually feel fortunate because if none of that happened, Han actually wouldn’t even be back, right? But him being back is not justice, it’s how we treat him from this point on out. I think that’s justice for me and in a way, how we treat every character, I think that was the spirit of Fast when we started and it’s something that coming back has special meaning.

It’s important for good characters to be treated well. It’s not been fair to see Statham’s Shaw to receive redemption for his actions and a much more pivotal Fast and Furious character to be left out or given proper justice. Along with Han’s mysterious return, F9 will explore real family with the introduction of John Cena’s Jakob Toretto, who is the brother of Vin Diesel’s Dominic.

F9 is a massive chapter for the long-running franchise. Along with Justin Lin and Sung Kang back for the action, it will also star Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, Ludacris and Cardi B. The movie has received mixed to positive reviews from critics ahead of its June 25 release date and a planned tenth and eleventh film.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.