Justin Lin might not have been the director fans hoped for, but he could turn the Trek franchise around.
In case you missed it, with JJ Abrams otherwise occupied the director's chair of the third reboot-universe Star Trek film was set to be directed by producer/co-screenwriter Roberto Orci. This made a lot of fans unhappy and a lot of industry people irritated and/or nervous, as Roberto Orci is... well, he's Roberto Orci, unfortunately.
Those same people got some unexpected good news recently, though, when Orci abruptly abandoned the job, relegating what was to have been his starmaking directorial debut to the pile of high-profile projects he's recently walked away from. (Weird, huh? Hm... maybe his blood wasn't magic enough?)
But fan excitement turned to fan hand-wringing on Monday, when it was revealed that the new director Paramount had selected to put the film together instead was not fan hopefuls like Edgar Wright or Jonathan Frakes... but Justin Lin, director of all but the first two Fast & Furious movies.
And y'know what? I'm okay with this.
I know that I'm not expected to be. I've made my disdain for much of the Fast franchise known previously, and also my general dislike of what has happened to these new Star Trek films since they first appeared. Abrams' inaugural reboot was passable, at best, while Into Darkness was a stumbling disaster. None of that is good pedigree for what might come of a merger.
Plus, it doesn't send a great signal that Paramount is opting for a filmmaker known mainly for action movies to helm what used to be the Thinking Man's Space-Adventure Series. It reinforces the idea that, while Paramount is likely aware that they haven't been releasing especially good Star Trek movies, the only thing that's really bothering them about it is that the films, while profitable, have failed to rise to the global-blockbuster status of Avengers or Transformers -- if you're going to dumb Star Trek down into a generic action franchise, you probably were expecting Action Franchise Money... and Paramount hasn't been getting that out of the deal.