Justin Lin

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Justin Lin Exits ‘Fast & Furious’ Following Brie Larson, Jason Momoa Casting, Start Of Filming

In a surprise move that follows the recent casting news of Brie Larson and Jason Momoa as well as the “Fast X” title reveal and start of filming, director Justin Lin has announced he is exiting Fast & Furious 10. Lin, who has directed five of the movies and was supposed to also direct the next …

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George Takei Not Happy With Gay Sulu In Star Trek Beyond

If you haven’t heard, the PC police were in full force when the script for Star Trek Beyond was written.

Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin (and Paramount) decided to make Sulu homosexual, played by John Cho, which is said to be a “homage” to George Takei.

The only problem is that George Takei isn’t happy about it.

Takei, who came out as being gay in 2005, tells THR it’s “unfortunate” as it goes against original creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the character (Yes, Sulu is straight in the TV series).

“I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” Takei told The Hollywood Reporter. “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.” 

The article also notes Takei “wasn’t overjoyed,” and that he “never asked for Sulu to be gay.” It’s actually said that George Takei prefers Sulu to stay straight, and that he told John Cho and the creators of Star Trek Beyond to create a new character instead, but they didn’t listen.

“I told [Jon Cho] ‘Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly being revealed as being closeted,” Takei said.

Takei notes when he spoke about Justin Lin about it, he thought Lin was going to create a new gay character, but again, we obviously see they didn’t.

“I said, ‘This movie is going to be coming out on the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the 50th anniversary of paying tribute to Gene Roddenberry, the man whose vision it was carried us through half a century. Honor him and create a new character. I urged them. He left me feeling that that was going to happen,” Takei said.

It’s further noted that both Cho and Pegg sent Takei e-mails about the subject, with Cho being worried about promoting the movie. Takei says he still didn’t change his mind.

“I really tried to work with these people when at long last the issue of gay equality was going to be addressed,” Takei said. “I thought after that conversation with Justin that was going to happen. Months later, when I got that email from Simon Pegg, I was kind of confused. He thinks I’m a great guy? Wonderful. But what was the point of that letter? I interpreted that as my words having been heard.”

“Star Trek Beyond” has a July 22, 2016 release date.

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Justin Lin Defends Star Trek Beyond Trailer

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The first Star Trek Beyond trailer was met with mixed emotion as it was heavy on action and didn’t feature much else.

Star Trek veterans George Takei and Wil Wheaton weren’t big fans, and Hollywood and DC Comics writer Max Landis had more than a few things to say about it.

Now with all the criticism having hit the net, director Justin Lin comes out to defend the trailer.

Speaking with Slash Film, Lin offers it’s only the first tease, that it’s just a minute and a half, and that they are trying to be bold and take risks.

You can view the Star Trek Beyond trailer here.

Well, its a minute and a half, you know… And again, there were other versions that were much more traditional and I can see where maybe the hardcore fans could probably see that as, “Oh.” But with trailers you’re putting a two-hour movie into a minute and a half, and the one thing I wanted to make sure is that it hopefully represents that we are trying to be bold and take risks, whether we are successful or not, I don’t know.

Regarding use of the Beastie Boys music:

It’s in the DNA of this canon. It was in the ’09 Trek, and we went through different iterations of the teaser and I wanted to make sure whatever here is using all the elements from the film. It’s been a part of this Kirk’s journey and so I felt it was very organic, and it will ultimately be in the finished film.

Lin also seems to say that he really didn’t put the trailer together himself as he comments on the motorcycle scene as well as the question if he made a Fast & Furious movie set in the Star Trek universe (note: it’s often the case that the studio will put the trailers together and not the director).

Yeah, and I don’t know if that’s the case here. When I saw the teaser, I’m like, aw shit.  You really have to put the motorcycle in there? So I get it, I get it, I get it.

“Star Trek Beyond” has a July 22, 2016 release directed by Justin Lin starring Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Sofia Boutella and Idris Elba.

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Justin Lin Tweets Out Star Trek 3 Starfleet Uniform Pic

Following Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana posting set images from Star Trek 3, now director Justin Lin has gotten in on the action.

Justin Lin tweeted out the following image of a Starfleet uniform adding: “Let the next Starfleet voyage begin! #StarTrekBeyond #LLAP”

We see Lin confirms the tile to be “Star Trek Beyond.”

Star Trek 3 has a July 8, 2016 release.

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Star Trek 3 Gets A Release Date

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Following yesterday’s news that Justin Lin will be directing Star Trek 3, Paramount has now given the third movie a July 8, 2016 release date.

2016 marks Star Trek’s 50th anniversary as well.

The July 8, 2016 weekend was previously open with no other movies set to be released; Star Trek 3 will face Tarzan and and Steven Spielberg’s BFG a week prior, and Ice Age 5 is due the following weekend.

Roberto Orci recently bowed out of directing Star Trek 3 reportedly due to creative differences with Paramount, but remains on as producer along with J.J. Abrams who left the franchise to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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Justin Lin To Direct Star Trek 3

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With Roberto Orci departing Star Trek 3, Paramount has named Fast & Furious‘ Justin Lin as the new director.

Deadline revealed Justin Lin to be the director of choice stating Lin was available as a result of his Jeremy Renner Bourne movie getting delayed due to Matt Damon returning to the franchise. Regarding whether or not Lin will do more Fast & Furious movies is unknown as it’s said he was wanted for another, but now has Star Trek 3 on the table.

Roberto Orci recently left Star Trek 3, reportedly over creative differences, but remains on as a producer.

Orci also penned the story for Star Trek 3, but the status of that is unknown as well. Previous comments by Orci stated Star Trek 3 would be set in space and be more like the original series than the JJ Abrams movies.

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5 Rumored To Direct Star Wars 3: Rupert Wyatt, Justin Lin & More

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With Roberto Orci departing Star Trek 3, five possible contenders to direct have become known.

According to Deadline, Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Morten Tyldum, Daniel Espinosa, Justin Lin (Fast & Furious) and Duncan Jones (Warcraft) are all said to be possibilities to direct.

It was previously stated that Edgar Wright was also a possibility, but the new report gives an update in that Wright looks to not be part of the mix.

Jonathan Frakes of ST:TNG has also expressed interest in directing.

Roberto Orci is still involved with Star Trek as a producer on the new film and helped write the story.

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Terminator 5 Heads To Paramount

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8671:]]We get more news of Terminator 5 moving forward as it is reported Paramount is in negotiations to get the distribution rights.

Last we heard of Terminator 5 is that writers are on board for the next installment, with Arnold Schwarzenegger said to be involved as well.

Justin Lin was at one time attached to direct, but bowed out due to the Fast and Furious movies; however, it’s stated Lin did leave helming the fifth movie open as a possibility if it gets delayed.

No story details are known, but it’s thought Terminator 5 will see Arnold Schwarzenegger return in a final battle of the humans vs. Skynet.

Terminator Salvation, which starred Christian Bale, grossed $371 million, which fell short of the previous two Arnold movies with Terminator 2: Judgment Day earning $519 million in 1991 and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines $433 million in 2003.

TheWrap also reports production on Terminator 5 could begins as early as next year.

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Movie Review: Fast & Furious 6

A Little Left in the Tank

A Film Review of Fast & Furious 6

By: Lawrence Napoli

 

Back in 2001, a little movie called The Fast and the Furious introduced mainstream America to contemporary street racing, NOS and Vin Diesel doing what he apparently does best.  None could have predicted that this series would have turned into such an immense financial success considering it took three different directors before finding one that was truly committed in Justin Lin and his first entry (Tokyo Drift) is to this day regarded as the weakest link.  Lin listened to the fans and got back to the basics of what made this fiction work and the result was a cacophony of stunts that continued to push the envelope, an added level of brawling combat and gunplay, but most importantly characters that had explosive chemistry together.  Fast & Furious 6 is the most recent entry and it’s a rarity to find any franchise capable of holding up to that kind of mileage.  If any of you have concerns regarding the possible sputtering of a series long overdue to be put to bed, know that Fast & Furious 7 is already in pre-production and we’ve just gotten past opening weekend for #6.  No studio is dumb enough to gut that kind of golden calf before at least running it (humiliatingly) into the ground.

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Is the franchise hanging on for dear life?

Writers Chris Morgan and Gary Scott Thompson return to pen F&F6 and they try really hard to duplicate the general plot points of the last film: assemble the team, give them a challenge, car stunts, punches to the face, victory.  It sounds simple enough, but Fast Five was such an incredible experience for being the first to draw in all the marquee characters from the previous films and added The Rock to the mix as the cherry on top.  In effect, the F&F franchise capitalized on an “Avengers” effect even before that movie came out.  Unfortunately, most of what the audience experiences in 6 feels awfully familiar as we see our favorite criminals with hearts of gold doing the same things they’ve done before with the same level of camaraderie.  The story still feels big, but the logistics of getting these main characters back into the conflict seems a tad convoluted and everything else that follows from character arcs to twists come off as slightly ridiculous.

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The team is back.  Now give the audience a reason to stay.

I think the film trailers actually worked against the writers in that they revealed too many major plot twists such as spear hooks into giant planes and the return of Letty, someone believed to have been dispatched as of the fourth film.  Perhaps the trailer reveals wouldn’t have been so bad had there been larger spectacles and/or developments lying in wait, but this was not the case.  To compensate, Morgan and Thompson reach further back into the franchise mythos to resurrect slightly more obscure characters which is nice for nostalgia, but not enough to keep the Fast and Furious formula fresh.  What’s worse is that to appreciate F&F6 you must have seen every previous film because the references to the past and a thematic return to what once was in the very first film is the engine for this film.  That being said, the story is entertaining enough while maintaining that satisfying focus on family as well as a couple of neat developments along the way.

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Guess who’s back?

For a franchise built on car races and stunts, I find it disappointing yet somewhat inevitable for it to have evolved into a more standard action/adventure film.  There’s also a hell of a lot of jumping, falling and launching of bodies in this movie which is an interesting curveball to the action, but seems far too super-heroic even for former street racers, hackers and ex-FBI to be capable of.  F&F6 features the most combat action from gunplay and fisticuffs to date which is executed very well on screen, but plays a second fiddle to the true spectacle: massive set-piece-chaos.  Notable sequences are the car chase around London and the climactic run-in with a military transport plane near the end.  The problem with both of these sequences is that we’ve seen chases similar to the prior and the latter boils down to movement in a straight line for what seems to be a 30 mile runway.  The absurdity of the action mirrors the exponential proficiency of each and every protagonist which, despite the separation in real and in-film time between all the sequels, still feels like Paul Walker is trying to squeeze out an extra 10 horsepower from his cheesy import.  None of this will probably to most fans seeing how a 6th entry in a film series has more to do with luring crowds in with familiarity rather than innovation.  But know this, at no one point does F&F6 outshine its predecessor in any aspect of filmmaking, which leads me to conclude that Justin Lin needs a satisfying and conclusive way to wrap up this fiction for part 7 before it gets recognized as Saw’s spiritual successor.

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Tyrese believes he can fly.

Performances across the board for F&F6 were reliable and expected.  No one outshines anyone else and every character (save for Letty) behaves exactly as they have with no surprises.  That being said, this film is all about Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto and every other character, even The Rock, falls in line.  I’m sure Diesel is a great guy to work with, but his emotional range varies between mopey-eyed to angry-mopey-eyed and that’s it.  This is unfortunate considering this film gave his character an opportunity to emote a little more in between bouts of crashing and punching.  Luke Evans as the nefarious Shaw presents as generic of a villain as one can get, but then no villain in a F&F film ever stood out something to truly watch out for either the characters’ or audience’s perspective.  They’re all merely speed bumps to the action and camaraderie.  The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, is noteworthy because he’s still himself and built like he could run through a brick wall without suffering a scratch.  Like the rest of the cast, he doesn’t really show anything new acting wise, so if you are interested in that, I suggest you check out Pain & Gain.

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Can you still smell what I’m cooking?

The true theme of Fast & Furious 6 is: “been there, done that.”  If you want you your fill of action and consider yourself too cool for super heroes, too dumb for sci-fi or too interested in a sex life for fantasy, this film will adequately address your needs.  But it is also by no means a game-changer for this summer as something truly remarkable to see and this will reflect at the box office.  Fast Five represented the peak of what this franchise was capable of accomplishing in terms of story, action and character as well as being a natural end that culminates on a high note.  Dragging everyone back for this film officially feels like going through the motions and I don’t particularly care for that.  The film’s teaser reveal post-credits connects the fiction back to Tokyo Drift (the last sequel in the franchise, chronologically) even seems like jumping the shark because the actor earmarked as the big bad for F&F7 was a real surprise, but in hindsight feels way over the top.  Fast & Furious may be biting off of The Expendables and that franchise is already getting as tired, old and dusty as Stallone himself.