Earlier this week, Fast & Furious 6 director Justin Lin confirmed that he would not be returning to helm a seventh installment of the high-octane franchise. Though the sixth entry has yet to hit theaters, star Vin Diesel has suggested that production on the next film could start shooting as early as this summer, meaning that Universal needs to find a new director ASAP. While there are likely plenty of takers for the job, three individuals have emerged at the top contenders: Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2), Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer), and Harald Zwart (The Karate Kid). Hit the jump for more on each of the directors, as well as my pick for gig.
While it was generally assumed that Lin would return for Fast & Furious 7, the director bowed out after Universal expressed the hope that the movie would be ready for a 2014 release. Lin, who’s probably suffering from franchise fatigue by now (he’s directed the past four installments), claimed “the rush would not result in his best work” and exited the project, leaving the studio scrambling to find a replacement. Latino Review reported early this morning that Universal had narrowed the hunt down to the three mentioned above.
Their best bet is Wadlow, who’s finishing up Kick-Ass 2 for the studio and currently has nothing else on his plate. Given his experience with Universal, he seems like the ideal candidate to take on the tentpole. Wadlow’s previously directed two other full-length features: 2008’s Never Back Down and 2005’s Cry_Wolf, which he made with the $1,000,000 he won at the 2002 Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival. My favorite contender, however, is Furman, simply based on the fact that he managed to coax a good performance out of Matthew McConaughey, completely reinvigorating the How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days actor’s career. Imagine what he could do with Fast & Furious, which has already received a burst of adrenaline from the addition of Dwayne Johnson. Finally, there’s Zwart, who’s got the most experience out of the trio. In addition to directing Jaden Smith in The Karate Kid, he’s behind this summer’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones as well (check out our interview with him here). Zwart’s also helmed such gems as The Pink Panther 2 and Agent Cody Banks. However, since the director may potentially be attached to a Mortal Instruments follow-up, that could knock him out of the running for Fast & Furious 7.
Who’s your favorite of the three contenders, readers? Or do you have someone else in mind?