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Justin Lin To Direct Big-Screen Adaptation Of David Henry Hwang's Play 'Chinglish'

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by Ryan Gowland
April 25, 2012 10:41 AM
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Whether or not you're a fan of the 'Fast and the Furious' movies, director Justin Lin has become more and more steadied and confident since taking the keys to the franchise with 2006's "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift." Still, opportunities outside of said franchise have ultimately fallen apart due to Lin's commitment to the those films, with the director dropping out of "The Highlander" remake and basically stepping away from the next "Terminator" sequel (though he might be able to go back should the scheduling work out). Lin had to drop both projects because of "Fast Six," but he is setting up several possible projects to follow, one of which could be the big-screen adaptation of David Henry Hwang's play "Chinglish."

In March, Lin set himself up in the director's chair for a Hollywood adaptation the play which is itself an adaptation of Kazuo Koike's 1970s Japanese manga "Lone Wolf And Cub." Now, Deadline reports that Lin has acquired the rights to Hwang's comic play, and eventually plans to direct and produce the film at some point. "As soon as I saw 'Chinglish' on Broadway, I began to envision this smart and insightful cross-cultural comedy as a film," said Lin. "I’m excited about working with David to bring this very timely story to the screen."

Hwang, who will adapt his play into the script, is familiar with having Hollywood take one of his plays and make a movie out of it, with David Cronenberg directing "M. Butterfly" in 1993. Apparently, Hwang is equally enthused to work with Lin. "I’ve loved Justin’s work ever since he burst on the scene with 'Better Luck Tomorrow,' and it feels very right to be collaborating with him on the movie."

Universal will get a first look at the film, once Hwang finishes the script (and Lin finds a way to fit some car chases into it). Kidding aside, Lin is no stranger to directing comedy, having quietly directed a few episodes of "Community" as well as the 2007 mockumentary "Finishing the Game," and it'll be interesting to see what he does with material that doesn't require explosions or choreographing a fight for Vin Diesel . Still, like "Lone Wolf and Cub," "Chinglish" will likely exist in a holding pattern until Lin finishes "Fast Six." So, it'll be a while before he tries something new.

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