After the success of Fast Five, Justin Lin might be looking to tackle a difficult and divisive moment in our modern history. According to Vulture, Lin is in talks with Universal to direct L.A. Riots – a film version of the violence and destruction that took place in April 1992 after the four police officers charged with beating Rodney King were acquitted to widespread shock and dismay.
It goes without saying that capturing the scope and nuance of the story would be challenging for anyone. If it’s not still an open wound, it’s one that can still have salt poured into it, so something of a delicate hammer is needed to ensure that it’s compelling without being alienating or, even worse, purposelessly offensive.
Oddly enough, the most interesting connection here might actually be the Fast and Furious franchise that Lin made a name in. John Singleton, the famed director of Boyz n the Hood directed the second entry into the fast-driving series and was also present at the courthouse during the Rodney King verdict, predicting that the decision “lit a fuse to a bomb.” Of course there’s also Spike Lee, who attempted to get a film version made a few years ago before it fell apart. If Universal is willing to make the investment to do it right, it looks like this modern moment might come back to haunt, entertain, and hopefully educate.