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Justin Lin Reveals The F9 Story Detail That Took Months To Decide

John Cena as Jakob looking in on Charlize Theron as Cipher who is trapped in box in F9

Justin Lin joined the Fast and Furious franchise as the director of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. He continued on to direct Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6 before leaving for a bit and now returning for F9: The Fast Saga. Lin has revealed that some of the shifts made in the franchise while he was away made for a difficult time writing F9, and one story detail took him months to decide.

Throughout the years, the Fast Saga transitioned from street racing films to the world of espionage, and while remaining action/adventure movies all the way through, F9 almost feels like a different genre than 2001’s The Fast and the Furious. Director Justin Lin also wrote F9, and it turns out that the lean into the sci-fi genre of the more recent films in the franchise caused some deep thought. Here’s what Lin shared in the F9 feature commentary, available with the film’s home release:

Since I’ve been gone, it’s kind of gone a lot more kind of sci-fi. And I felt like, ultimately, if I just kind of ignored that, then it wouldn’t be respectful to the films that I wasn’t a part of. So it was a long process in the writing phase. When I first came back, I didn’t want to have a world-ending device. But when we were working on it, it almost felt like such a rebuke to the previous films. I didn’t want that. I wanted to always embrace the chapters prior… it was months and months of my life in our writing process of deciding whether we were gonna do it or not.

Justin Lin originally didn’t want to include a world-ending device in F9. Imagine the film without the Aries device! In the film, the device can allow the user to control all the world’s computers and weapons systems. It was split into two to keep this from happening, Jakob Torretto (John Cena), Otto (Thue Ersted Rasmussen) and Cipher (Charlize Theron) having one half and the Fast family finding the second half with the help of Mr. Nobody. Of course, the bad guys take possession of both pieces which is why we have a movie! I wonder what Lin had in mind for the story without the Aries device.

The feature commentary track is just one of many bonus features included in the home release of F9: The Fast Saga. Justin Lin provides all kinds of behind-the-scenes insight and stories from the set, and fans can also experience a day of Lin’s life while filming with the featurette A Day On Set With Justin Lin. Plus, the home release comes with the Director’s Cut of F9 which includes additional never-before-seen footage. F9 is now available on Digital, 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD.

Samantha LaBat

Obsessed with Hamilton and most things Disney. Gets too attached to TV show characters. Loves a good thriller, but will only tolerate so much blood.