'F9' Director Justin Lin on the Stunt That Was Too Crazy (And Too Expensive) to Make It Into The Movie

For the Fast and Furious franchise, the sky is the limit. Quite literally in F9, a spectacle-filled action sequel in which just one of the many wild action scenes involves sending a car up to space. But director and co-writer Justin Lin — returning to the franchise after eight years away — found that even the sky has limits.

This post contains some spoilers for an action scene teased in the trailers. But proceed with caution.

Lin and the F9 team have shown their dedication to practical effects in the ninth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, from pulling a car through a building into a truck, to throwing a bunch of cars at a moving tank. But there was one stunt that was too wild (read: expensive) for Lin to keep in F9.

In my interview with Lin ahead of the theatrical release of F9, the filmmaker revealed that he had planned a sequence in which Sean Boswell’s (Lucas Black) Pontiac Fiero was sent up to outer space in a weather balloon. Sadly, it got cut, despite Lin’s objections and his assertion that he “would have personally paid for the weather balloon” himself:

“I was on this train ride to Edinburgh for a scout and I had a plan to take a Fiero to the outer atmosphere on a weather balloon. And the cost kept coming in, I kept fighting it. And if I’m looking back now, that is the one that is the one setup that I would have personally paid for the weather balloon. I just always love starting any crazy idea with truly doing it ourselves. Ultimately we had a lot of reference to work off of, but if you’re asking me personally, that that was one that I was adamant [about]. But the budget — I think even on big budgets — I felt like we found the limit of what we can do.”

A similar sequence does play out, but in a different way. But in a moment that is already very silly, bordering on camp, it would have just been the cherry on top to see the Fiero float to the outer atmosphere via weather balloon. Like, come on, that’s the height (get it) of comedy. Okay, I’ll show myself out.

F9 is directed by Lin, who co-writes the script with Daniel Casey. It stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Michael Rooker, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell, and Charlize Theron. See it in theaters on June 25, 2021.

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