Fans of the Fast & Furious franchise were given quite the surprise last week in the form of the first F9 trailer. Not just the trailer itself, but the contents of that trailer. Specifically, the unexpected return of Sung Kang as Han. Now, director Justin Lin has opened up about his return and how it happened.
Justin Lin, who has helmed four previous installments in the series, is returning for Fast & Furious 9. Lin made his debut with Tokyo Drift, which is where fans first met Han. During a recent interview, Lin was asked about Han's return and, while he wasn't willing to spoil anything, he explained that Han is special to him and that's part of what brought him back to the director's chair this time around.
"You'll find out, but Han is a very special character for me. He's been kind of a special character throughout, and when I left in [Fast & Furious 6], we kind of left together. One of the reasons for me to come back was to bring him back."
Before returning in the Fast and Furious 9 Super Bowl commercial, Han was last seen in Fast & Furious 6, but he seemingly died in Tokyo Drift. Chronologically, it's explained later that Tokyo Drift takes place just before Furious 7 and that Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw is responsible for Han's demise. In the years since, many fans have taken to using the phrase "Justice for Han." Justin Lin explained that was very motivating, in terms of bringing the character back.
"I was at a Q&A for a film and someone in the audience said they were confused about what happened. It really kind of got in my head and inspired me that if we're gonna continue, we should have justice for Han, for sure."
The notion of retconning Tokyo Drift was a bit strange at the time, but this is a franchise that is predicated on being truly over-the-top and, at this point, that's pretty low on the list of crazy things that have happened. Finally, when asked how Han survived, Justin Lin refused to go into detail, but assured that it will make sense, at least within the logic of this franchise.
"It's all connected, let's just put it that way. Everything happens for a reason in the Fast Universe."
Aside from Han's return, Jordana Brewster will also be coming back as Mia. We know the ninth installment will see Vin Diesel's Dom and his Fast Family at war with his long lost brother Jakob, played by John Cena. Universal Pictures already has plans in place for Fast & Furious 10, in addition to a female-led spin-off and a Hobbs & Shaw sequel. So Han will have quite a bit more opportunity to get back in the game after this adventure. F9 is set to hit theaters on May 22. Feel free to check out the full interview from the MTV International YouTube channel.