Director Justin Lin returns to the Fast & Furious universe with the ninth film in the franchise, this time around, what was the biggest difference or change between the theatrical version that we saw, and the director’s cut?
Justin Lin: I think a lot of times in extended cuts, when you watch it, you can’t tell the difference. Maybe there’s an extra punch or extra kick or something. But I can say, on this one, it’s like seven and a half minutes extra footage. And I ultimately cut it out for pacing for the theatrical release. But I think that, with time, when this is all said and done, and when the fans want to come back and watch, experience the whole thing, I feel like the extended cut, in the cannon, will be the preferred version, because it will answer a lot more questions. And also, we lay in a lot more details, to be able to connect, not only with these films, but hopefully with other narratives. That’s going to be out.
Now that we can talk about the end of F9, there’s this lovely little button at the end, acknowledging Brian. Which is great, because Paul Walker is the heart and soul of this franchise. As you’re looking ahead to Fast 10, F11, what are you considering for Brian?
Justin Lin: The fact that Brian is still in the universe means a lot. But I’ll tell you, the added layer to that is that, for Fast 10, it’s the final chapter of the saga. And the conversation of that actually started in 2008, with Paul and I, and then also with Vin [Diesel].
But I know for a fact, with Paul and I, when we talked about it, it was never like, “Hey, when we get to it, this is the final chapter.” It was just an ongoing conversation. And sometimes it was humorous. We joke about what Fast 68 would be like, and we were actually going to go shoot a little, I think a 10 minute short.
But then a lot of times it became kind of profound, because I think we talked about how, man, this journey was not a given. And it was something that kind of went away, came back, and then we met each other, and we were kind of evolving. And we were earning every time we get to go back out there. And so I think for me now, working on it, I’m trying to channel those conversations. And I think it goes beyond Brian, for me, it actually has Paul in this whole process.
How special is that? That Paul Walker is going to influence, kind of, ‘story by’ end of the saga?
Justin Lin: In many ways it’s very poetic, and it feels like it’s the right thing. And a lot of times when I feel a little bit lost, a little bit frustrated, I do go back to those moments. Because it was pure, it was not a commercial conversation. It was not a financial conversation. It was just two friends. And sometimes Vin joins us. It’s the three of us just talking about where we’ve been, and hopefully if one day, if we’re lucky enough… If you asked me, I never thought we were going to bring that to life. So to be able to have that opportunity, it means a lot.
I, for one, would love to see Fast 68 and Fast 69 and beyond. And I keep hearing us saying, “End of the main saga, end of the main saga.” Which, context clues, makes me think that there’s other branches, other places to go. Maybe prequel, sequel, spin-offs. Is there anything that you would love to see, or that you are maybe thinking about?
Justin Lin: I would love to tell you, and I’ve been working a lot. And I think, hopefully, when the appropriate time comes, I can share that. But I think just through the years, every time we wrap one of these movies, I always think, “Oh yeah, you know what would have been great? This whole story we’ve been talking about for the last three months, but it’s not in the film.” And that has kind of accrued. And that’s how we built the universe. And for some reason, I think the appetite seems to be there now. And hopefully we’re trying to find the right venues and mediums to be able to hopefully do justice to all those narratives.
Young Dom prequel, Vinnie Bennett. It’s right there! It is right there!
Justin Lin: It’s right there! It’s literally right there, yeah.
Next: Vin Diesel’s Emotional Fast 10 Tease Shows It’s Ending The Franchise Right
The Director’s Cut of F9: The Fast Saga is now available on digital and Blu-ray from Universal Home Entertainment.