by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief
Justin Lin has been making some slick films for quite a while now. Way back in 2002 he blipped on the radar with A Better Tomorrow, an enjoyable film about over-achieving Asian-American high school students who start to dabble in criminal enterprise. After that it was all systems go with a surprisingly enjoyable entry on a franchise that appeared as though it might be on fumes with Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, the first entry without Paul Walker and Vin Diesel (basically). After that Lin directed the meat (and best) films of the Fast and the Furious series, directing the fourth, fifth and sixth entries, helping shape that series into the juggernaut that it’s become. Lin isn’t given enough credit for this, most likely because Vin Diesel represents that all the success is thanks to him. (I say carry something that’s not Fast and the Furious and maybe we’ll talk.)
Next up for Lin is the third entry in the Star Trek reboot universe, Star Trek Beyond, following up J.J. Abrams’ first two entries in the series. Lin and actor/writer Simon Pegg seem to be really embracing the original series and giving us something fun and playful (with presumably less lens flares). We’ll have to wait and see how it turns out but the trailers have looked promising.
Beyond Star Trek it looks like Lin could be heading back to Tokyo for a big screen adaptation of what is possibly the most popular manga/anime of all time, Akira. On the most recent episode of Meet the Movie Press, Jeff Sneider dropped the news that Lin is the guy that Warner Bros. wants in the director’s chair if and when Akira goes before cameras. Presumably Lin would be working from a script written by Daredevil season 2 co-showrunner Marco J. Ramirez from about a year ago. Warner Bros courting Lin isn’t a total surprise considering that he has been a driving force in pushing Space Jam 2 forward at the studio. Perhaps Warner Bros. is looking to quid pro quo by moving forward with SJ2 if Lin will take on Akira?
As of right now nothing is official, but Lin certainly would have the chops to take on a large action project like this. The studio could certainly do worse.