You might not think you know the name Justin Lin but trust me, it’s right there at the tip of your tongue. He’s the guy who turned the Fast and Furious franchise from a joke into an empire, somehow winning over action junkies, international crowds, and even critics to the tune of billions. But now that he’s been confirmed to direct Jeremy Renner, the star of last year’s very mildly successful Bourne Legacy, in a fifth Bourne film, already rumored to see the return of original trilogy header Matt Damon, talks have turned to how Lin will handle a property that drops fast cars, massive set spectacles, and a flock of skin-deep meat heads (sorry Dom) for a simmering thriller rife with political undertones.
Lin has most certainly shown he’s adept at staging larger-than-life action sequences but Bourne has always been more about close quarters combat – not to mention shaky cam – than actual the stuff of stunning spectacle. Legacy suffered a horde of bad reviews that marked it down for keeping its head in the chem clouds and prioritizing twists and turns over genuine character arcs so one wonders how Lin – a typically action-heavy director – will serve as a substantial improvement over Tony Gilroy‘s (Michael Clayton) direction. If one thing is abundantly, it’s the fact that Universal Studios seem to want to go a new direction with the franchise, presumably a much more high-octane-oriented route.
Whether Renner’s Aaron Cross character will actually cross paths with Damon’s Jason Bourne is nothing more than unsubstantiated rumors at this point but there’s something about nabbing Lin that leads me to believe that this fifth film looks to really take things to another level.