EXCLUSIVE: Fast Five helmer Justin Lin is broadening out from fast cars. Lin has acquired screen rights to the critically acclaimed David Henry Hwang comic play Chinglish, with plans to direct and produce the screen adaptation through his Barnstorm Pictures banner. Hwang will write the script and will co-produce with Bobbi Thompson. The play, a romantic comedy with a timely, political spin, opened at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre en route to Broadway. An international tour beginning at Berkeley Repertory Theatre starts this fall. “As soon as I saw Chinglish on Broadway, I began to envision this smart and insightful cross-cultural comedy as a film,” Lin said. “I’m excited about working with David to bring this very timely story to the screen.” Lin’s Barnstorm has a first-look deal with Universal, and the studio will get first crack at this.
Hwang is a Tony winner and two-time Pulitzer finalist best known for M. Butterfly, the hit Broadway play he later adapted into the David Cronenberg-directed film. “I’ve loved Justin’s work ever since he burst on the scene with Better Luck Tomorrow, and it feels very right to be collaborating with him on the movie.” CAA is repping the package (the agency reps Lin and Barnstorm along with Cinetic Media). Hwang’s repped for theater by Paradigm.
Lin is directing Fast & Furious 6. He had been attached to the package that Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures acquired to make at least two final installments of The Terminator franchise. Lin dropped out due to his Fast & Furious 6 commitment, but could return if Ellison’s film doesn’t move forward quickly. So far, not much has happened.