It seems like Justin Lin has become an overnight success. Sure, Fast & Furious was a big hit, but the success of Fast Five showed studios that he can deliver something big with their action properties twice in a row, which landed him Terminator 5. He recently talked about how he’s become sought out by major studios over the past few months — so he was already doing well for himself — but THR says that Lin has signed a first-look deal with Universal that will last two years, and lands him his own production company, Barnstorm Pictures.
This will allow him to develop projects on what’s being referred to as an “elevated tentpole aimed at global audiences.” Several movies have been set up for him to produce and possibly direct — they include a spy project called Leading Man, an untitled World War II film centered on a “Japanese American battalion that is the most decorated unit in American history,” a sci-fi thriller that Robert Glickert will direct, and (obviously) Fast and Furious Six.
If you want an idea of how busy the guy truly is, it should be said that Lin also has a Black List Western called Brigands of Rattleborge, the psychological drama We Disappear (which is based on a novel by Scott Heim), and Lone Wolf and Cub, a manga adaptation. Not all of it will be tentpoles, however, as the director said that he wants to develop projects that will allow him to “give up-and-comers their chance.”
I have to confess that I’m not really the biggest fan of Lin‘s films — they’re just not my thing — but I don’t mind seeing him attain this success, since he has exhibited talent in work that I otherwise feel nothing for. And, one of the good things about this new deal is that it will allow him to work on projects that might be more to his interests, which could see him stepping outside the box a little. (I’m not saying that Fast and Furious isn’t of interest to Lin, but it’s hard to imagine that he wants to only make those for the rest of his career.) Honestly, if you had to choose between him or, say, Paul W.S. Anderson getting this kind of treatment, it’s hard to understand why you would choose the latter.
Are you a fan of Lin’s work? Is he someone that you feel should be getting this kind of treatment by a major studio?
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