EXCLUSIVE: Despite a lack of superheroes, Universal Pictures continues to bolster its franchises. The studio is going hard to revive its classic monsters franchises–I’m hearing that Prisoners scribe Aaron Guzikowski is being courted to get the Wolf Man howling again, after Uni rebooted The Mummy–but the most intriguing scenario I’m hearing is that the door has been reopened with director Justin Lin and Universal’s most valuable franchise, The Fast And The Furious films. Lin bowed out after 2013’s Fast & Furious 6. He passed the baton and signed on to direct the second installment of the Aaron Cross Bourne Identity spinoff, and horror hitmaker James Wan took over and directed the latest film, Furious 7. A lot has happened since Lin left the Fast & Furious vehicle, the one that seemed out of gas before he took over and directed four films that brought back the original cast. Wan signed to return and next direct The Conjuring 2, which takes him off the board for awhile.
After Deadline exclusively revealed that Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass would reteam for another Bourne Identity franchise film, that film took precedence over the Aaron Cross film Lin plans to direct with Jeremy Renner and that film is being readied for 2016. And then Universal released the trailer for Furious 7, and 100 million people viewed it over 48 hours. I am not getting anything from the studio on this, but here’s what I hear: I expect Lin and Universal to begin talking again about him directing a multi-part production that will lead to multiple movies shot together and will wave the checkered flag on the Fast & Furious franchise. This would have to happen after he directs the first two episodes of the second season of HBO’s True Detective, but to me it just makes too much sense not to happen. Stay tuned.