After Fast Five exploded at the box office earlier this year, Justin Lin became one of the most sought-after directors in Hollywood. Any studio looking to rejuvenate a once-popular franchise bumped him to the top of their speed dial, essentially, as revealed in recent interviews to support the home video release of Fast Five, giving Lin the pick of the action franchise litter.
He ended up settling on Terminator 5, but before that happened, before Fast Five even happened, he had been attached to direct a remake of Highlander for producer Neal H. Moritz. And now, after two years of developing the project with a rotation of different screenwriters, Lin has officially slid out of the director's chair. The exact reason hasn't been made public, but it's likely had less to do with drastic creative differences and more to do with scheduling conflict, as he'll still remain on board as a producer. Who will takeover the director's chair is also unclear at this point, but the word is Moritz does not want to give up the opportunity to make a lot of money off of the line, "There can only be one," so a new director should emerge before too long.
As for what Justin Lin has moved onto since leaving Highlander, that's simple: Fast and the Furious 6. It seems both he and Universal aren't ready to stop cashing those big checks, so it will certainly be the next film he directs. After that, however, he's still exploring his options. He recently revealed that he passed on Die Hard 5 ("...the first Die Hard changed me as a kid when I watched it. But Die Hard 5 is just not something that I’m going to do, or I’m interested in.”), but is still actively involved with Terminator 5, which is currently without a release date. He's even met with Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron to discuss the project, which is very interesting because Cameron isn't involved with the franchise in any capacity at this point-- he just let Lin pick his brain because it's still a property he cares about.
What exactly Cameron, Schwarzenegger and Lin talked about is still being kept under wraps, but if you read the full chat, it's clear that whatever it is, it has Lin both humbled and excited. The film still doesn't have a release date or production timeline, but at this stage all signs point toward Lin diving into it just as soon as he gets Fast and the Furious 6 out of the way.