F9 Director Justin Lin on Bringing Back Fan-Favorite Characters and Plotting the Endgame

Plus, how the pandemic delay benefited the film.

[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for F9.]

With F9 arriving in theaters June 25th, I was able to get some time with director Justin Lin to talk about the next entry in the Fast and Furious franchise. Before going any further, if you haven’t seen the incredible new trailer for F9, you need to stop what you’re doing and watch that right now. Every time I think the franchise can’t go any further, you get footage like this trailer.

During my interview with Lin, he talked about why the pandemic delay helped make the movie even better, how the sequel brings back a lot of characters, why this could have been a six-hour movie, if they designed F9 as a two-parter, and I tried to get him to admit the film ends on a cliffhanger. In addition, since it’s come out that F9 goes to space (you can actually see the beginning of the space scene at the end of the trailer when Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Tyrese Gibson are screaming “punch it” and wearing airtight clothing), he talked about how they came up with the decision to include it in this movie. He said:

“I think through the years, part of the fun is to come up with crazy ideas to challenge ourselves. But I have to say, we never do it just for sake of shock value. It always takes something from the theme or the character journey. I can say that when I was working on Fast 9, there was a thread that felt very appropriate to take us to places that we’ve never gone to. I drove to Vin’s house and I sat down with him and we looked at each other and we were like, ‘Ok, this is the one. This is the one that we’re going to try.’ And it felt very appropriate. So, I kind of can’t wait to share with the world, because the more we push and do crazier stunts and set-pieces, the more we have to check ourselves to make sure we earn that.”

F9 (Fast and Furious 9) includes Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), Jakob Toretto (John Cena), Roman Pearce (Gibson), Tej Parker (Ludacri), Han Lue (Sung Kang), Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster), Sean Boswell (Lucas Black), Twinkie (Bow Wow), Earl Hu (Jason Tobin), Megan Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), Magdalene Shaw (Helen Mirren), and The Fate of the Furious villain Cipher (Charlize Theron). Also joining the cast are Cardi B, Anna Sawai, Michael Rooker, Finn Cole, Vinnie Bennett, Ozuna, and Francis Ngannou.

RELATED: How ‘F9’ Found Justice for Han and Put Its Female Characters in the Front Seat

Check out what Justin Lin had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.

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Image via Universal Pictures

Justin Lin:

  • How he was able to finish the movie without worrying about making the release date.
  • Did they design F9 as a two-parter?
  • Does the film end on a cliffhanger?
  • Who will get to space first: Tom Cruise of the Fast and Furious franchise?
  • How long is the movie and did they end up with a lot of deleted scenes?
  • Talks about how he’s bringing a lot of characters back…
fast-and-furious-f9-universal-pictures-sung-kang-tyrese-gibson
Image via Universal Pictures

KEEP READING: ‘F9’ Director Justin Lin Breaks Down His “Liberating” Two-Film Approach to End the Franchise

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