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Sequel on ‘Fast’ track

Lin to direct new cast in third 'Furious' pic

Universal Pictures has set Justin Lin to direct “The Fast and The Furious 3,” a vehicle that has been modified in both cast and continent.

None of the stars of the original two films will return, making this the rare third installment of a hit franchise where the only gross player is the producer, Neal Moritz. Pic will shoot early this fall in Asia and the U.S.

Scripted by Chris Morgan, the film will be set in the streets of Tokyo. Taiwan-born Lin will steer a picture that focuses on an American drummed out of the U.S. because of his passion for street racing. He moves to Tokyo and soon learns about “drift racing,” where cars accelerate into turns and then spin out of them, leading to hairpin, hair-raising races around city blocks. The youth runs afoul of the top drift racer.

Universal will cast a new actor to play the protagonist, meaning that it will make the sequel without Vin Diesel, who starred in the original, or Paul Walker, who starred in both. Studio will gamble that the cars and the concept drive the franchise, not star power.

U exec veep Jeff Kirschenbaum is overseeing the pic.

Lin just directed the Touchstone drama “Annapolis,” and is attached to direct a remake of the Korean film “Old Boy” for Universal and Vertigo Entertainment and will also helm “Strangers” for Focus and Vertigo.

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