Production on the next Fast & Furious film is set to resume now that Louis Leterrier is stepping in to replace Justin Lin as director. The French film director and producer was the frontrunner to take over the set of Fast X among a few potential candidates, according to Variety. And I think we can collectively breathe a sigh of relief, because Leterrier directed none other than the seminal 2002 movie The Transporter. Yes, it seems Fast X is in good hands.
We can argue whether Transporter is excellent because Luc Besson wrote it, but Leterrier took an insane screenplay and made it into an authentic car movie full of little details that put us in the driver’s seat of an immaculate V12 BMW 750iL: driving gloves, three pedals, ADR wheels, and a full-size spare!
You try watching Jason Statham drive a 2005 Audi A8 through a concrete barrier from one building to another and tell me that Louis Leterrier isn’t the best choice to direct the upcoming Fast X. Go on: lie to me. TO MY FACE.
Creative differences may have pushed Justin Lin off the set, per Deadline, but creative similarities are pulling Leterrier into the F&F universe.
He’s the best choice — other than Justin Lin — because he gets that unabashed glee and absurdity is what makes these movies great. A little bit of heart and a whole lot of throttle is the motive force behind these stupid movies. The fights and shootouts are beside the point. The real action heroes are the cars!
And is it just me or is The Transporter’s Frank Martin the same dude as F&F’s Deckard Shaw? Has Statham quietly played the same character this whole time? God, yes; I hope. But Statham isn’t the only action star Leterrier has worked with. Jet Li is in there, too! Leterrier went on to direct other works you may recognize, which I’ve listed in this
objective subjective order of awesomeness:
- Unleashed (2005)
- Lupin (2021)
- The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019)
- Clash of the Titans (2010)
- Now You See Me (2013)
The director’s résumé may look a bit light because I left some works out, like The Brothers Grimsby and that Hulk reboot — which neither Louis Leterrier nor Edward Norton could save. Let’s push those under the rug, because there’s bigger news. Variety claims Fast X could cap off the 21-year old franchise in a two-part release:
Then there’s the wrinkle that “Fast X” was originally envisioned as the first of a two-part conclusion to the “Fast & Furious” saga. Filmmakers behind the final chapter have “contemplated” splitting the feature into two parts, a source close to the shoot said, though the production schedule at present would only accommodate the first film in a potential final pair.
Never mind that Fast X I and Fast X II is a terrible naming convention, and in no way official. The takeaway is that the “fambly” (as Torchinsky called it) will finally say farewell. But I’m not worried the franchise could conclude under the stewardship of Leterrier. If The Transporter films are any indication, the F&F send0ff is going to be as ridiculous and cheesy as it deserves to be.