‘F9’ Director Justin Lin Says Han’s Return Is Thanks to Justice for Han Campaign
The Fast & Furious media franchise has grown far past its street racing roots. The heists, action set pieces, and scope have massively grown since its inception. Han Lue, played by Sung Kang, became a fan favorite after appearing as Sean Boswell’s mentor in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. He supposedly died after getting t-boned. It’s revealed that he was a member of Dominic Toretto’s crew. F9 director Justin Lin recently said that fan backlash inspired him to do something about Han’s fate.
‘Fast & Furious’ fans wanted justice for Han
Fast & Furious fans have been eager to see Han get the justice that he deserves for years. They took to social media and made #Justice4Han go viral after the Fast & Furious franchise made the decision to make Han’s death a plot point for Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham).
The biggest issue is how Han’s supposed killer joins the Toretto crew’s BBQ. It angered the Fast & Furious franchise fans to see Deckard welcomed into the family with open arms after the Han incident. Han wasn’t even referenced when turning Deckard from a villain into a hero. The creative team left this plot string hanging without any explanation or attempt to redeem Deckard’s character.
‘F9’ director Justin Lin gave credit to the fans for Han’s return
Cinemablend reported on Lin’s explanation for how he brought Han back to the franchise. Justice For Han went viral online, so he engaged with the community. As a result, he saw how upset fans were with how the series handled the situation.
“Two-three years ago, someone mentioned that [Deckard] Shaw was at the Toretto barbecue,” Lin said. “That was the first time I heard about ‘Justice for Han.’ I started talking to fans and I realized they were really upset.”
Lin further explained that the reason why it was never previously addressed is that there was no answer from the creative team. Universal couldn’t explain the lack of a reference to Han. This glaring issue stood out to Lin and he decided to fix it.
He continued: “After discovering this whole ‘Justice for Han’ movement, I even sat and talked to the studio and I said, ‘What happened?’ Nobody could give me an answer… I felt like it was something that needed to be addressed… If they actually did handle it correctly, then Han would probably stay dead.”
Lin’s F9 ultimately brought Han back into the fold. However, he acknowledged that if it weren’t for #Justice4Han and the mishandling of this plot detail, the character would have remained dead. This is one of those instances where fan feedback actually made a difference.
The franchise continues
The Fast & Furious franchise isn’t over quite yet. The two final installments are set to bring Lin back to the director’s seat. They’re expected to release in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
In addition, there have been discussions to make a female-led spinoff and a sequel to the spinoff Hobbs & Shaw. This is a very valuable franchise for Universal so they will want to take advantage of that. Audiences will have to wait and see what Han’s return could mean for the remainder of the franchise. It’s clear that Lin listens to the fandom and is willing to address plot details and character direction that doesn’t feel right.