HOLLYWOOD, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- With J.J. Abrams firmly embedded in a galaxy far far away, and would-be replacement Star Trek director Roberto Orci stepping aside to serve only as a screenwriter and producer, Paramount Pictures has turned to Fast and Furious director Justin Lin to return moviegoers to the final frontier.
Lin was originally slated direct the sequel to The Bourne Legacy, the Jeremy Renner-starring spinoff of the Bourne Identity trilogy. That project, however, was put on hold after Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass agreed revisit the original Jason Bourne franchise with a fourth movie, which producers want to come out before Renner and Lin's sequel.
Lin is best known for taking over the Fast and Furious franchise with 2006's poorly-received The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Hardly a marquee achievement with fans, critics or the box office, Lin went on to make his name as one of Holywood's post-millennium rising stars by sticking with Dominic Toretto and Brian O'Conner's high-octane star-crossed bromance, relaunching the Fast and Furious films as a series of combination prequels and sequels to the orginals, with fleshed-out tertiary characters, gleeful dismissal of basic physics and huge returns at the box office.
After departing the Fast and Furious films following Fast & Furious 6, Lin signed on to direct the first two episodes of HBO's second run of True Detective, the cable network's highly-praised seasonal-anthology cop drama. Those epsidoes are slated to air in March 2015.
Lin's hiring has inspired mixed reaction among Star Trek fans. On Twitter, many are lamenting the addition of Lin, complaining or joking that he will dumb down the philosophically complex ideas of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.
Justin Lin is perfect for Star Trek 3 because he already has experience working with Klingons pic.twitter.com/RMQnePn61W— Benjamin H Bailey (@BenHBailey) December 23, 2014
Writing for Forbes, Hollywood news blogger Scott Mendelson praised Paramount's decision, describing Lin as the "perfect fit" for Star Trek fans because of his experience providing large groups of characters with equally meaningful screen time.
"If you're someone who thinks the last two Star Trek films have been somewhat dominated by Kirk and Spock (beyond the extent that Star Trek has often been the Kick/Spock show), then this hire should be welcome news," Mendelson wrote.
"... Fast Five was not just a terrific action picture but a pretty great movie, period, and this is coming from someone who didn't care much for the previous four films. It was a fifth sequel that used its complex continuity to its emotional advantage, and I might on a given day argue that it's an even better "franchise all-stars to the rescue" movie than the Avengers ... The surrogate family themes of the last three Fast & Furious films actually fit the Star Trek universe like a glove."