James Wan to direct `Fast and Furious 7`

Los Angeles: James Wan will direct the next installment in the `Fast & Furious` franchise, taking over from Justin Lin.

The `Insidious` director is studio Universal`s first choice to helm the next installment in the high-octane speed racing franchise, reported Deadline.

Lin is credited with revitalising the franchise, directing the previous three movies in the series, besides the forthcoming `Fast & Furious 6`, but he recently informed studio bosses that he will not return for the seventh movie.

Universal was reportedly eager to rush the seventh film into production for a 2014 release with shooting to begin this summer. However, Lin opted to leave the franchise as he would have to juggle pre-production on the next movie while still working on post-production for the current film.

Wan was on a short list of potential filmmakers for the big budget blockbuster, beating `Kick-Ass 2` director Jeff Wadlow, `Contraband` director Baltazar Kormakur and `The Karate Kid` director Harold Zwart.

The seventh film will mark the return of franchise stars Vin Diesel, who is also executive producer on the series and Paul Walker.

`Fast & Furious 6` is due for release next month.


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