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'Fast X' director was so pressed for time, he had to scout locations with Google Street View
Fast X zooms onto the big screen Friday, May 19.
Speaking with Total Film for the magazine's April 2023 issue (now on sale), Leterrier — whose resume includes The Transporter, The Incredible Hulk, Now You See Me, and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance — recalled how he was presented with two options once he arrived in the United Kingdom: pause production and add millions to an already pricey budget, or simply pick up where Justin Lin left off.
He opted for the latter, which meant rewriting the film's entire third act because a certain highway in Montenegro fell through at the last minute. Already pressed for time, Leterrier wasn't able to scout any new filming locations in person. "I rewrote something [using] Apple Maps," he confessed. "I was scouting on Google Street View, going, 'Sh**! Sh**! Sh**!' So thank you, Google; thank you, Apple."
Lin, who remained on board as a producer, still retains full screenplay credit along with Dan Mazeau. Leterrier said he had no intention of erasing the prep work that had already been completed prior to his involvement.
"At first, I was like, 'Ok, what did Justin do? Can I see storyboards? Can I see shot lists?' I took it all in and then you find your bearings, and it becomes yours. I had a short runaway, but I had the best crew in the world — Justin's crew. We were in sync from the get-go."
Despite this hectic scramble to get all of his ducks in a row, however, it seemed as though the road of Leterrier's filmmaking career had always been leading to the Fast Saga, which previously considered him as director for Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious 8, and Hobbs & Shaw. Now, he'll get to drive the series over the finish line with a massive, two-part finale steeped in a high-octane mythos built over the course of two decades.
"I'm following the legacy of all the movies," Leterrier added. "And I'm trying to have respect for what every other filmmaker has brought on. Even Hobbs & Shaw, I was like, 'The humor of Hobbs is fun. It's very inspirational.' So there's a lot of stuff here and there that I absolutely borrow from."
Fast X zooms onto the big screen Friday, May 19. Tickets are on sale now!