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Justin Lin Speaking ‘Chinglish’ as Producer and Director

Written by on April 24, 2012 

Justin Lin doesn’t have what I’d call a light schedule — Fast Six, Fast Seven, possibly a new Terminator, and miscellaneous duties here or there — which makes Variety‘s news just this side of surprising. They report that, in what might be a slight departure from his typical style, the Fast Five mastermind has picked up rights to Chinglish, a romantic comedy play (written by David Henry Hwang) that he’ll direct and produce with his company, Barnstorm Pictures; Universal is distributing.

Replacing Vin Diesel and fast cars for wit and cultural confusion — which isn’t to say Vin Diesel can’t star here — Chinglish sounds entirely different from anything Lin‘s made in his short, productive career. Read a synopsis below (via BroadwaysBestShows):

CHINGLISH is the hilarious story of an American businessman desperate to launch a new enterprise in China. There are only three things standing in his way: He can’t speak the language. He can’t learn the customs. And he’s falling in love with the one woman he absolutely can’t have.”

It’s fair to say a couple of cultural influences were behind this acquisition, though Lin simply expressed the desire to make a “smart and insightful cross-cultural comedy”; good on him. And, with Hwang returning to script this new iteration — though I don’t know how much additional work really needs to be done — I’d expect something positive to translate (no pun intended) in this instance, should reactions to the original play be any indication. If Lin wants to take it easy after the chaos of Fast Six? That’s probably something he’ll more or less earn.

Is Chinglish a story you can find yourself invested in?

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