F9: Justin Lin’s Return To The Fast & Furious Franchise Has Everything To Do With John Cena’s Character

When Justin Lin left the Fast & Furious franchise, it was the end of an era. We’re talking about a filmmaker who managed to destroy a franchise with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, before slowly rebuilding it over the course of the next three movies. For all intents and purposes, I still very much consider this series to be his. Others may have started it and dabbled, but the characters and new direction started with him, and the current iteration very much continues the spirit he started with Fast & Furious.

Lin gracefully bowed out of the franchise following the release of Fast & Furious 6, which paved the way for James Wan and F. Gary Gray to both take cracks an entry. Now, with F9: The Fast Saga, he’s back in the driver’s seat. However, surprisingly enough, Lin had no intention of coming back when he first left.

“When I left after Fast 6, I really thought that was it, like, there’s no more Fast stories I can tell,” Lin told EW. “From then on, I would travel and just meet people and fans of the franchise, and they would tell me why they love the franchise so much and just share their stories. Then two years ago, I woke up with an idea for the new chapter. And a big part of that is exploring this theme of family that is always tied to Fast, but doing it through blood. I think anybody who has siblings around the world knows that if you have fights with blood, it’s 100 times more intense, all gloves are off, and I was really excited about that.”

Of course, we now know that dynamic has to do with John Cena’s character, who was revealed in the first trailer to be Dom’s brother. Needless to say, the pair don’t get along with one another. And the idea of blood not necessarily being the indication of family really resonated with Lin on a deep level.

RELATED – Could Han Be The Main Villain In Fast & Furious 9?

“Again, a lot of the theme of family kind of reflects my immigrant story. I feel like my 10-year-old son growing up, he’s got Uncle Vin, Uncle Sung, and it’s not by blood,” Lin said. “I feel like our family is truly this earned relationship. But at the same time, it’s one thing we have not explored through bloodline. And Michael Rooker, who is in this movie, said it best when he came and we were talking about the film, he said some of the bloodiest fights he’s seen in his life were either at funerals or weddings.

Lin continud: “And that’s something that really excited me when the idea came to me, that we could really start this new chapter exploring family through the traditional bloodlines. But then the next emotional beat for me was that I was kind of scared s—less of like, “Well, who is going to be a Toretto?!” And I was so relieved when I sat down with John, and within a minute of talking to him you could feel the strength and discipline, but also the fact that he could be vulnerable. He was just a pleasure to work with, and I really do think he’s going to bring a lot as the antagonist to Dom.”

However, something tells me Han will also have a role to play in all this talk of family. After all, he was very much a part of the Fast Family before his untimely passing — a passing that apparently didn’t actually take place. How will his perspective on the family affect the plot of the story? After all, Lin did state that there were some things in the recent movies that didn’t quite make sense to him, so perhaps…those will be addressed.

What do you think of Lin’s comments? Are you happy to see him back? Let us know down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and contributor at LRM Online. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.

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