‘True Detective’ May Replace Heady Nihilism With Cars That Go Boom Via ‘Fast & Furious’ Director Justin Lin
We’ve known for a while that True Detective isn’t doing the one-director-per-season thing, because that takes eons longer to film than an average TV show and HBO would very much prefer to run new episodes on a consistent schedule, not whenever a bunch of “time is a flat circle” mystics will it into existence, man. What we haven’t known is which directors will be stepping in to fill the Cary Fukunaga-sized hole left in the series. Until now. Potentially.
The Hollywood Reporter names Justin Lin as the first director to be officially courted by HBO. The publication, sporting a stringy ponytail and jamming a penknife into a Lone Star beer can, says he is in talks to direct two episodes of the eight that are coming next season. Probably the first two, but it’s hard to tell amongst the crinkle of metal on metal and THR’s lengthy discussion of how life is memory that’s been locked away and left to rot, and all that remains is something something nihilism, alright alright alright.
Lin is not known for slow-burning creep, though, nor for long segments of dialogue that require at least three philosophy textbooks to unpack. What he’s best known for is Vin Diesel growling “vroom vroom” as he rams cars through other cars. Lin directed four Fast & Furious films – Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6. Add a few episodes of Community, the yet-unreleased fifth Bourne movie and something called It Has Begun: Bananapocalypse, and you’ve got the gist of his body of work.
Nothing in there really screams True Detective. Which can only mean two things, probably. Either:
A. Lin is attempting to seriously up his game and go from dialogue that can’t really be heard over the continual explosion of sports cars to dialogue with nuance and political and philosophical subtext while motor vehicles drive the speed limit and obey all traffic laws.
B. True Detective is drastically trying to reinvent its own game and wants at least one scene where Elisabeth Moss ducks under a Mitsubishi Eclipse as it hurtles through the air, on fire and in bitchin’ slo-mo.
Let’s call it a bit of both. If Lin agrees to do the episodes, he’ll get a substantial credibility bump, without question. He’d have those two episode to shove in people’s face the next time someone criticizes F&F for having Dwayne Johnson rip a car in half with his bare hands and then devour it whole. Which I’m assuming is a staple of the F&F franchise. But HBO wouldn’t hire Mr. Vroom Vroom Man unless they were interested in his specific skill set (probably). And if you recall, one of the few details we have about True Detective’s next season is that it’ll feature “the secret occult history of the United States transportation system.”
So maybe (and I’m spitballing here) writer Nic Pizzolatto wrote a bang-up car chase in the first episode to get us into the “transportation system” world, and HBO’s looking for a director who sees tires flying into the camera in 3D every time he closes his eyes. Just a thought. And hey, maybe this is the first step towards Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson being in True Detective’s third season. McConaughey was great and all, but his car-eating skills are sub-par at best.