Fast X star Michelle Rodriguez reflects on the shocking departure of director Justin Lin from the film and the chaotic period of production before Louis Leterrier was brought on. Fast X sees the return of Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto as he and his extended family of blood relatives and close friends take on a new villain in the form of Jason Momoa’s Dante. Rodriguez returns as Letty in the sequel, having now played the role for over two decades.

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Ahead of the Fast X release date, Rodriguez recalls the turbulence caused by Lin’s shocking exit in a recent interview with Los Angeles Times. Lin’s departure was especially frustrating, the actor explains, because the movie’s story had not yet been fully figured out. Check out Rodriguez’s full comment below:

“You’re ready to shoot the thing, you don’t have a finished third act and your director just quit. Welcome to the heartache. There’s tears, because you don’t want things to end up wack because people are rushing things or they’re worried about money so they forget the integrity of the thing. You wonder, ‘Will they find someone who’s passionate enough to take this on and care enough?’ [Director Louis Leterrier] saved us. He saved our ass.

Fast X’s Production Problems Explained

Dom talking on the phone in Fast X

Lin had directed a number of other installments in the Fast & Furious franchise, including The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, and F9: The Fast Saga, making it a no-brainer that he would return for what is being billed as a multi-film finale. Only days into production on Fast X, however, Lin announced that he would be leaving the film. Reports at the time alleged that Lin left due to major friction with Diesel, who also serves as a producer on the film, but Universal Pictures denied this.

A week later, Fast X had a new director with Leterrier, who was known for the first two entries in The Transporter franchise and The Incredible Hulk. Rodriguez previously revealed that she and Charlize Theron, who plays Cipher, had to shoot a major fight sequence without a director on set. Leterrier, a self-professed fan of the franchise, has previously commented on what it was like to take on director duties on such short notice, revealing that he had only days to take on and complete major Fast X script rewrites.

Since completing work on the latest sequel, Leterrier has also been announced as the director of Fast & Furious 11, which will either serve as the final film in the franchise or the second part of a three-part finale if Diesel’s recent comments are anything to go by (it probably depends on Fast X‘s box office performance). Although Leterrier undoubtedly saved Fast X from becoming a major disaster, Lin’s substantial pre-production prep work and producer role means his DNA is likely still all over the film.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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