Justin Lin to Direct Netflix Black Panther Drama ‘The Stand Off’

     March 16, 2017


Filmmaker Justin Lin first broke out with his Sundance indie Better Luck Tomorrow, but soon made the jump to blockbuster territory with The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Lin would stick with the Fast & Furious franchise for a while, honing his skills by directing the next three films in a row, departing after Fast & Furious 6. But Lin simply made the move to a different franchise after a brief TV stint helming the first two episodes of True Detective Season 2, signing on to take the helm of Star Trek Beyond. Now, however, it seems Lin is ready to stretch his talents again, signing on to helm a true story drama about the 1969 faceoff between a SWAT team and the Black Panthers.

Lin will direct Black Swan screenwriter Mark Heyman’s script The Stand Off, which tells of a newly formed police unit called SWAT that raided the Los Angeles Headquarters of the Black Panther party as their first major operation. The four-hour shootout culminated in the use of a grenade launcher, leaving eight wounded on both sides. Charges against the Black Panthers were ultimately dropped as it was ruled they acted in self-defense, but this intense reaction from law enforcement had a ripple effect in racial tensions throughout the country.

Per Deadline, Lin and Heyman shopped the project around at a few different studios before settling on Netflix. This marks yet another concerted effort on the part of the streaming service to become a bona fide movie studio in its own right, as Netflix’s 2017 original films slate includes the Will Smith-fronted fantasy blockbuster Bright, the Brad Pitt-starring satire War Machine, and the Sundance hit/potential Oscar contender Mudbound. Make no mistake about it: Netflix is playing for keeps.

Lin is also attached to direct the Hot Wheels movie, which would put him back in blockbuster territory, but it sounds like The Stand Off is the priority for now.

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