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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Justin Lin (born 11 October 1971; age 50) is a Taiwanese-born American film director. On 22 December 2014, it was announced that he had been hired to direct the 2016 sequel Star Trek Beyond, replacing Roberto Orci. [1] His production company Perfect Storm Entertainment is co-producing the sequel, thus Lin also received credit as Producer. [2] His son Oqwe Lin appears in the film as an alien boy. [3]

He is a Star Trek fan, explaining he would watch the original series with his parents after they closed their restaurant each night. "Every night, it was Star Trek on Channel 13 in L.A. That was my childhood. All my friends were Star Wars kids but I didn't go to the movies, so I was the Star Trek kid." [4] Lin cited his favorite TOS episodes as "The Cage", "The Enterprise Incident", and "The City on the Edge of Forever". He also said that, when he was growing up, his favorite TOS character was Leonard McCoy. (SFX, issue 276, pp. 47 & 49)

Lin is best known for directing four of the films in the Fast & Furious franchise: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011) and Furious 6 (2013). On the latter two he also worked as executive producer. On these films he worked with actor Dwayne Johnson, composer Brian Tyler, cinematographer Stephen F. Windon, and costume designer Sanja Milkovic Hays. For Furious 6, he received a Hollywood Movie Award nomination in 2013.

He had previously directed actor John Cho in the drama Shopping for Fangs (1997) on which he also worked as co-writer and editor. This film marked his directorial debut. Lin directed Cho again in his breakthrough work, the crime drama Better Luck Tomorrow (2002) on which he worked as editor, co-writer and producer. This film earned him a Grand Jury Prize nomination at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002, a Visionary Award at the San Diego Asian Film Festival in 2002, and a John Cassavetes Award nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards in 2004.


Early career

Lin grew up in Orange County, California and attended the University of California, San Diego and the UCLA where he graduated with an MFA in Film Directing. Prior to his directorial debut Shopping for Fangs, Lin worked as director of photography on the short action film The Game (1995) and the drama Flow (1996).

In 2000, he wrote, directed and produced the short documentary Crossover followed by the short documentary Spotlight (2005) on which Lin was the director and producer, and the comedy Finishing the Game: The Search for a New Bruce Lee (2007), written, directed and produced by him. The latter one featured music by Brian Tyler and the voice of George Takei. He also directed the drama Annapolis (2006, with co-fight coordinator and stunt actor Lauro Chartrand), and directed, wrote, and produced the short film La revolución de Iguodala! (2007).

Later career

Beside the above mentioned Fast & Furious franchise, Lin directed three episodes of the comedy series Community (2009-2010) for which he received two Image Award nominations in the category Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series in 2010 and 2011 and a Banff Rookie Award nomination for Best Sitcom in 2011.

During the next years, Lin worked as executive producer on a number of projects including the television series Always You (2012), BFFs (2012), Dr0ne (2012), Silent Terror (2012), Ground Game (2012), The Book Club (2012), MotherLover (2012), Reality Reboot (2012), Squad 85 (2012, with Diedrich Bader), and Runner (2013, produced and starring Martin De Boer and directed, written and produced by Mike Gunther). He also produced the short projects Double (2012), Vesuvius (2012), Yellow Face (2013, with Linda Park), Whistle While I Work It (2013), and How to Be More Asian (2013).

Between 2014 and 2016, Lin was an executive producer on the television series Scorpion, co-produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci with music by Brian Tyler. Lin directed the pilot episode of the series which featured Jack Guzman, co-producer April Nocifora, costume design by Sanja Milkovic Hays, makeup design by James MacKinnon, and stunt coordination by Mike Gunther.

Recent projects

Lin directed the first two episodes of the second season of the crime drama series True Detective in 2015. He also produced and wrote the story for the action comedy Hollywood Adventures, with Bridgett Riley, Lorin McCraley, Thomas DuPont, and Josh Drennen. He directed the pilot episode for the series S.W.A.T. (2017), and an episode of the rebooted Magnum P.I. (2018). He also serves as executive producer on both series, as well another series, Warriors.

Lin is currently filming the latest Fast & Furious sequel. Also announced is a Bourne sequel as producer and director, a directing credit for the television series Warriors, and a producing credit for another Highlander film.

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