10 Directors Who Bailed On Their Own Movie Franchises (But Should Have Stuck Around)

9. Justin Lin - Fast & Furious

justin lin Fast and Furious Premiere
Ian West/PA Archive

Justin Lin did not originate the Fast & Furious franchise, but of the seven installments to date, he has directed four of them (Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast and Furious, Fast Five and Fast and Furious 6), and is without question the most influential director in the history of the franchise.

While his first two efforts were relatively down-the-line entries, he completely upended the series' style and tone with Fast Five, which moved away from petrolhead culture and instead trained its focus on over-the-top stunts and a heist movie narrative. The result? Fast Five raked in $625 million at the box office, and the sixth film, following a similar formula, grossed almost $800 million.

Sadly, Lin did not stick around for a seventh film due to Universal's rather absurd demand that he turn around another sequel inside of a year. Rather than wait an extra year and secure the guaranteed money-maker that is Lin's talent, Universal got impatient and hired horror director James Wan, whilst Lin went on to direct Star Trek Beyond which looks like it could be a total disaster.


Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.