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Fast X's Director Had To Basically Rewrite The Entire Script Overnight

When "Fast X" was announced shortly after the release of 2021's "F9," longtime "The Fast and the Furious" franchise stalwart Justin Lin was set to direct once again after previously helming "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," "Fast and Furious," "Fast Five," "Fast and Furious 6," and the aforementioned "F9." 

But one day into filming, Lin departed the project, citing "creative differences." As production had already begun, Universal Pictures needed a new filmmaker behind the camera as soon as possible, so "The Incredible Hulk" and "The Transporter" director Louis Leterrier received the call. In fact, according to Esquire Middle East, he got it in the middle of the night — which he surely thought was a mistake — so he ignored the call. Then a follow-up message arrived: "'No, call us now, this is not a mistake. Can you read a script by 5:00 am?'"

Leterrier fell in love with Lin's script and couldn't resist taking on the film. The action filmmaker had previously been a fan of the series and even considered helming previous installments, but he never felt ready. Doubt crept in for the "Now You See Me" director as meetings with Vin Diesel and the studio began. He recalled, "My wife saw my face. I was literally white as a sheet. She asked, 'What, are you hesitating? No! You've been dreaming of this! Go do it!'" Three days, and a slew of meetings later, Leterrier was off to shoot "Fast X," leaving little time for any rewrites.

Leterrier decided to rewrite the third act

After being brought in at the final hour, "Fast X" director Louis Leterrier had to rewrite the film's script basically overnight. Leterrier told Esquire Middle East, "I read the script four times on the plane, and I said I had some ideas, and they said, 'Great, because the whole third act is changing. Can you rewrite it tonight?'" Because of the insanely fast turnaround of his hiring, Leterrier had been on no sleep for days at that point.

Once he got the go-ahead, the filmmaker began the writing process. He explained that once he started revising the ending, it led to having to restructure the whole film. Leterrier explained, "Obviously, since the third act was changing, I needed to change the first act. And when you rewrite the third act, and the first act, the second act has to go."

Leterrier said he found the process of rewriting the film liberating. Since he was stepping in to finish the film, he had a lot of help, as well as people in his corner from the cast and the crew, which lifted some of the pressure of being the replacement director. He also said the specific flavor he was bringing to the film was a very grounded and practical approach, which he compared to the first, third, and fifth parts of the franchise. Instead of just coming in and finishing Justin Lin's movie, Leterrier said "Fast X" very much became his film, with the rest of the team putting forth a very collaborative effort in a way the filmmaker had never seen before.