“Fast & Furious” director Justin Lin announced that he will no longer direct the franchise’s next installation, “Fast X,” which began filming last week. The filmmaker, who co-wrote the movie’s script with Dan Mazeau, will remain involved with the project as a producer.

Lin shared the news with a statement posted to social media, which read: “With the support of Universal, I have made the difficult decision to step back as director of Fast X, while remaining with the project as a producer.”

“Over 10 years and five films, we have been able to shoot the best actors, the best stunts, and the best damn car chases,” the filmmaker’s statement continued. “On a personal note, as the child of Asian immigrants, I am proud of helping to build the most diverse franchise in movie history. I will forever be grateful to the amazing cast, crew and studio for their support, and for welcoming me into the FAST family.”

Production on “Fast X” started on April 20, with franchise stars Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang and Charlize Theron returning. New cast members include Michael Rooker, Jason Momoa, Daniela Melchior and Brie Larson. At the end of the first week of filming, Diesel posted a video to Instagram with Lin, teasing that the movie felt like “the beginning of an epic ending.”

While promoting “F9,” Lin opened up to Variety about the direction of the planned tenth and eleventh installments of the franchise, saying he and Diesel began charting the road map nearly a decade ago.

“I used to sit around, talk to Vin and Paul [Walker] — and I thought it was just an exercise, I never thought we were able to ever realize it — so it was very much in theory,” he shared. “Then when I came back Vin pulled me aside and said, ‘We’re doing it.’ So, in a way it felt like ‘F9’ is about celebrating 20 years of this journey, but also just pointing it into this last chapter that we’ve been talking about for years.”

Sources say that production on the main unit has briefly paused while Universal locks in a replacement director, while the second unit continues filming. “Fast X” is planned for a May 19, 2023 theatrical release.

Lin directed five “Fast and Furious” movies, beginning with 2006’s “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.” His run with the high-octane franchise continued with 2009’s “Fast & Furious,” 2011’s “Fast Five” and 2013’s “Fast & Furious 6.” The director returned to helm the most recent installment 2021’s “F9,” which raced to more than $700 million at the box office. Lin’s run of films have grossed more than $1.9 billion at the global box office.