Reports have claimed that director Justin Lin left “Fast X” due to star Vin Diesel’s purportedly difficult behavior on set and after a “major disagreement” with the star during a meeting.
On April 26, the Taiwanese American filmmaker announced via the film’s official Instagram account that he is no longer directing the 10th installment of the “Fast & Furious” franchise.
New details revealed that Lin’s departure was already brewing for months, according to The Hollywood Reporter, citing multiple sources.
The production reportedly saw several challenges, including the scrapping of an important, pre-secured location in Eastern Europe due to the war in Ukraine. At the time, it was already getting late in the process and the movie hadn’t cast one of its villains yet.
Also among Lin’s reported frustrations was the script, which he initially thought was settled prior to filming. However, Universal and Diesel, who was also a producer of the film, had other plans and even hired a writer to polish dialogue for some of the actors.
Sources noted that Lin did not welcome the idea at that time.
On April 23, Lin reportedly had a “major disagreement” with Diesel during a four-person meeting. The meeting started with Diesel discussing new notes and ended with someone slamming the door.
“Justin finally had enough and said, ‘This movie is not worth my mental health,’” one source said.
By April 25, Lin reached a settlement with the studio to exit the production as its director while remaining involved as a producer.
Lin announced his departure three days after the reported argument. Universal would later note via a statement to THR that: “Any creative differences leading to Justin Lin’s exit were with the studio, not with fellow producers, cast or crew.”
Days later, an unnamed source with “knowledge of the situation” told New York Daily News’ Richard Johnson that the departure was Diesel’s fault, accusing the actor of becoming a problem while filming the recent installments of the series: “Diesel shows up late to the set. He doesn’t know his lines. And he shows up out of shape.”
“No one is dissing Vin Diesel on the record, but everyone knows,” the source was quoted as saying.
A veteran producer uninvolved with “Fast X” expressed shock that Lin turned down a sizable paycheck by walking away.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” the producer told the Daily News. “Lin’s giving up $10 or $20 million.”
Questions about Diesel’s on-set behavior have been raised before, particularly after Dwayne Johnson called out some of his male co-stars for poor behavior in August 2016.
“Some conduct themselves as stand-up men and true professionals, while others don’t,” Johnson wrote in the since-deleted Instagram post. “The ones that don’t are too chicken sh*t to do anything about it anyway. Candy *sses.”
In an October 2021 interview with Vanity Fair, Johnson expressed regret for the Instagram post while sticking by his message.
“It caused a firestorm,” he admitted. “Yet interestingly enough…[it was] as if every single crew member found their way to me and either quietly thanked me or sent me a note.”
Lin, who has helmed five “Fast & Furious” films, is set to be replaced by “The Incredible Hulk” director Louis Leterrier for “Fast X.”
According to insiders, Lin’s sudden exit could have cost Universal an estimated $600,000- to $1 million per day during their search for his replacement.