‘Fast X’ Director Got Asked to Rewrite the Entire Third Act on the Flight to Set: ‘I Was Literally on No Sleep’

Fast X” director Louis Leterrier told Variety at the movie’s trailer premiere party that he originally said no to directing the 10th installment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise. “It’s too big,” he said. “It’s too massive.”

The filmmaker, whose hits include “The Transporter” and “Now You See Me,” thought he was being butt-dialed when Universal Pictures contacted him to replace Justin Lin on the sequel. Lin had already started filming “Fast X” when he exited the movie because of creative differences. In a new interview with Esquire Middle East, Leterrier said in four days he went from getting the call from Universal to calling action on set.

“I read the script four times on the plane, and I said I had some ideas, and they said, ‘Great, because the whole third act is changing. Can you rewrite it tonight?’” Leterrier said. “I was literally on no sleep. I’d been on no sleep for days.”

“Obviously, this was not going to be set in stone,” the director continued. “But I was like, ‘Okay, yeah, I’ve got some ideas,’ and started writing. And obviously, since the third act was changing, I needed to change the first act. And when you rewrite the third act, and the first act, the second act has to go. So basically I had to on the fly rebuild the airplane.”

Those four days also included Leterrier’s first professional meeting with Vin Diesel. The director told Variety, “You see this mountain of a man, bald head, muscles… you hear the voice and he turns to you, looks you straight in the soul and says, ‘Welcome to the family, brother.’”

In “Fast X,” Vin Diesel and his family of action heroes must face off against Jason Momoa. The “Aquaman” star plays Dante, who seeks revenge on the “Fast” family after they destroyed his life during the bank heist depicted in “Fast Five.” Also new to the franchise is Brie Larson, whose character, Tess, is described as a “rogue representative from the Agency.”

“Fast X” is set to open in theaters on May 19 from Universal Pictures.

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