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Turn those wheels of fantasy

16/06/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

Buy The Fast and the Furious 3 in the USA - or Buy The Fast and the Furious 3 in the UK

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Filmmaker Justin Lin - who made a splash with the 2002 independent feature and Sundance hit Better Luck Tomorrow - has been signed to direct the latest installment in the motion picture series built on speed: The Fast and the Furious 3.

The Universal Pictures release will be produced by Neal H. Moritz, who served in the same capacity on both global blockbuster hits The Fast and the Furious and 2 Fast 2 Furious.

The Fast and the Furious 3 is written by Chris Morgan (Cellular), who places the third entry in Tokyo: in this adrenalized new story, set in the sexy, underground world of Japanese drift racing, the newest and fastest customized rides go head-to-head on some of the most perilous courses ever seen. Plans call for the film to begin production in the Fall of 2005.

The original film and its follow-up reached box office heights in theaters around the globe, with The Fast and the Furious earning $207,409,603 in cumulative worldwide box office and 2 Fast 2 Furious outscoring the original, taking in $236,222,077 worldwide. Together, both DVD titles have sold more than 20 million units.

The Fast and the Furious 3 follows the story of Shaun Boswell, who has always been an outsider. A loner at school, his only connection to the indifferent world around him is through illegal street racing -- which has made him particularly unpopular with the local authorities. To avoid jail time, Shaun is sent out of the country to live with his uncle in the military, in a cramped apartment in a low-rent section of Tokyo.

In the land that gave birth to the majority of modified racers on the road, the simple street race has been replaced by the ultimate pedal-to-the-metal, gravity-defying automotive challenge ... drift racing, a deadly combination of brutal speed on heart stopping courses of hairpin turns and switchbacks.

For his first unsuccessful foray in drift racing, Shaun unknowingly takes on D.K., the Drift King, with ties to the Yakuza, the Japanese crime machine. The only way he can pay off the debt of his loss is to venture into the deadly realm of the Tokyo underworld, where the stakes are life and death.

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Justin Lin grew up in Orange County, California, and graduated with a degree in film from UCLA. His distinctive viewpoint gives voice to the Asian-American experience, and his versatility as a film craftsman has allowed him to serve in numerous capacities simultaneously on his films.

His reputation as an up-and-coming filmmaker of note was cemented with the 2002 feature Better Luck Tomorrow, which he directed, co-wrote, produced (along with Julie Asato and Ernesto Foronda) and edited; the film, about a group of over-achieving Asian-American high school seniors who venture into crime, received a Grand Jury Prize nomination at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and he (along with co-writer/producer Ernesto Foronda, co-writer Fabian Marquez and producer Julie Asato) was nominated for a John Cassavetes Award at the 2004 Independent Spirit Awards.

Lin is also attached to direct Strangers, which Vertigo Entertainment is producing at Focus, as well as the Vertigo Entertainment/Universal Pictures' film Old Boy, a remake of a Korean-language action/thriller. He is currently in post-production on the Touchstone feature "Annapolis," starring James Franco, Tyrese Gibson and Jordana Brewster, which is scheduled for a fall release.

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