Once a car movie director, always a car movie director? After helming four Fast & Furious movies — from Tokyo Drift in 2006 to Fast & Furious 6 in 2013 — Justin Lin has been announced as the director for a Hot Wheels movie, based on the popular line of toy cars by Mattel.
Lin is stepping in on a project that had been going from producer to producer for a while now, starting at Columbia before being picked up by Warner and then Legendary. Looks like it took someone as driven as Lin to finally put the project back on track!
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What Will The Hot Wheels Movie Be About?
The Hollywood Reporter is specifying that the project is at such an early stage that it won't be Lin's next movie, and still needs to find a writer to bring the roaring cars to life. Hot Wheels are model cars that started out as a kids' toy, but since they've started replicating popular cars and pop culture characters, they've become highly sought-after collectibles.
And while the first version backed by Columbia was going to tell a father-son story revolving around a race car, Legendary reportedly picked up the rights with more of a Fast & Furious vibe in mind. The challenge will be to distinguish the movie from the Furious franchise, since there are already Hot Wheels cars based on the models from the Vin Diesel movies.
It Could Be A Passion Project For Lin
Not only does Lin seem like an excellent choice, considering his experience with bringing out the best of a four-wheel drive in a movie, but Hot Wheels actually hold a particular meaning for him. Back in May, he was interviewed by Wired ahead of the release of Star Trek Beyond, the very well-received Trek adventure he directed as a sort of break from the Furious movies. He explained how he started making toy cars himself, and how the satisfaction from his craft slowly got him on the road to making movies.
As the son of a hard-working Asian immigrant, he says he was jealous of his neighbors, the Klugs: They owned "a trampoline and all the Hot Wheels cars I couldn't afford," he recalls. So he started making his own, even building a makeshift ramp, and suddenly one Klug brother was offering him three cars in exchange for the ramp.
"It all goes back to that ramp. I realized I could create things and people might actually want them."
Combine the emotional significance of these toy cars to their selling potential — Mattel makes nine million cars a week and sells 10 a second — and it sounds like a project that's going to get the hearts of car fans racing.