Director Justin Lin Won't Return For 'Fast and Furious 7'

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Universal Pictures

'Fast and Furious 7' has been fast-tracked for a summer 2014 release, which is great news for us movie fans. This was not such great news for director Justin Lin, who is still working hard to finish up 'Fast and Furious 6,' which opens next month. Because of that scheduling conflict, Lin - who has now directed four of the 'Fast and Furious' movies - will not return to direct 'Fast and Furious 7'...which is also not such great news for us movie fans.

Let's face it: Vin Diesel and The Rock aside, there's one reason why the 'Fast and Furious' franchise has seen such a major resurgence and it's due in no small part to director Justin Lin. After an attempt at making a 'Fast and Furious' film without Paul Walker and only a cameo from Vin Diesel ('Tokyo Drift'), Lin reinvented the franchise and 'Fast & Furious' and 'Fast Five' became the biggest films in the series (and 'Fast and Furious 6' looks set to top each of them).

But sadly Lin will not return for a fifth film.

The Hollywood Reporter says that because Lin would have had to simultaneously edit 'Fast and Furious 6' while prepping to shoot 'Fast and Furious 7,' Lin told Universal executives last night he would not return to direct the seventh installment. There is said to be no acrimony between Lin and Universal and his departure is amicable (and he will likely stay on board to produce 'Fast and Furious 7').

With a summer 2014 release date looming, Universal execs are looking to find a replacement by next week.

As for Lin, he'll likely move on to another project, something he hasn't done since 2005, when he directed James Franco in 'Annapolis.' Does this mean he could return to develop 'Terminator 5' at Warner Bros? It's possible, but for a director who got his start at the Sundance Film Festival, he might turn to a smaller project first.

What do you think? Who could replace Lin on 'Fast and Furious 7?' Do you think this is a big blow for your hopes on the 7th film?

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