Justin Lin has taken over a couple of Hollywood's biggest franchises, The Fast and the Furious and Star Trek respectively, and proven he knows how to do good work. In the case of Fast and the Furious, he is the man that truly reinvented the franchise and turned it into what we have today. Last year, Legendary Pictures tapped him and his skills to helm a live-action Hot Wheels movie. There hasn't been a lot of development since, but now Lin has provided an update on the status of the movie with a bit of a surprise casting announcement.
The director recently spoke during TCA 2017 about his live-action Hot Wheels movie, which seems to be a bit slow moving, but revving up nonetheless. Slashfilm was on hand to get his comments on the movie and, somewhat surprisingly while talking about his overall vision, he revealed that Jeremy Renner (The Avengers), The Hurt Locker) is attached to star. Here's what he had to say about it.
"For me, Fast and Furious is not just a car movie either. I have an eight-year-old who plays with Hot Wheels all the time. To me, it's amazing [to see] the therapeutic and healing properties of imagination. Those are themes I really want to explore through that because I had my own relationship with Hot Wheels when I was a kid and now I'm seeing it with my kid, so it is something I'm very excited about. I talk to Jeremy [Renner] all the time and technically, it's still in development. I'm one of his biggest fans and I signed on because we've been looking for stuff to work together and we still look for stuff to work together. It was just an opportunity at that time. It was actually getting to be really exciting but I also realized that's a whole other franchise universe. My connection to it is Jeremy and we're finding great things to hopefully work together. We're in touch. I love Jeremy."
Jeremy Renner was supposed to be the heir to the Bourne franchise and his entry, The Bourne Legacy, wasn't quite the spin-off that many hoped it could be. Still, Justin Lin was, at least at one point, working on a sequel to that movie, which is possibly where this Renner relationship blossomed. That project may be dead, but why not throw him another brand new franchise with Hot Wheels? Who wouldn't watch Hawkeye driving a fast car around some surely crazy race tracks?
Justin Lin, like many big names working in Hollywood, is attached to a lot of projects, so it is hard to know exactly what project will catch some heat and be the next thing he actually directs. He is also working on Space Jam 2 for Warner Bros. He spoke a bit about how Warner Bros. and Legendary are allowing him to take his time to develop movies like Hot Wheels and wait until the time is right to pull the trigger. For those looking forward to these movies, that means we're going to have to wait longer, but that could ultimately be worth it.
"On both Space Jam and Hot Wheels, I have great partners. A lot of times now with these big tentpoles, everybody's trying to jam a movie in in a limited time. I feel like I'm too old for that. I want to make sure that we do everything right, so those two projects, with Legendary [on Hot Wheels] and Warner Bros. [on Space Jam 2] they've been great about saying, 'What do you need, how much time do you need? Let's keep getting it right.'"
A live-action Hot Wheels movie has been in some form of development for quite some time. Various versions of a movie based on the Mattel line of toy cars has been in the works since 2003, with McG at one point attached to direct for Columbia. The project then moved to Joel Silver, who was working on the project for Warner Bros. The project moved show over to Legendary Pictures last year, who picked up the rights a few years back and, before bringing on Justin Lin, they had tapped Simon Crane to direct. His version didn't get done and the project had been sitting for a couple of years before this iteration came to be. Will this be the one that finally makes it to the big screen? Maybe once Jeremy Renner is done with Avengers: Infinity War he can make some time for Hot Wheels.