Josh Trank has parted ways with Lucasfilm and will not direct the second Star Wars anthology film scheduled for 2108. The news announced was on StarWars.com where Trank said following a “tremendous amount of thought,” he was ready to move on to “pursue some original creative opportunities.”
From Lucasfilm VP of Development Kiri Hart:
“It was a privilege to collaborate with Josh. We are grateful for the energy and love of Star Wars that he brought to the process, and we wish him all the best.”
While this may seem like a shocking turn of events for the 30-year old fan boy director behind Chronicle and the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot set for theaters on August 7th, the smoke before the full fire first appeared when he was a last minute no-show at Star Wars Celebration last month to talk up Anthology films along side Star Wars: Rogue One helmer Gareth Edwards.
Trank tweeted he had a bad case of the flu and had to sit out the high profile April 19th panel. “Hey all. So, so, so sad to have missed today. Worst flu of my life,” he said.
But to add more head scratching to that day’s news, 20th Century Fox decided to suddenly drop the new trailer to Fantastic Four reboot that very afternoon. Fox held the distribution rights to the Star Wars films before Disney bought the rights from George Lucas, and still retains a piece of the deal for A New Hope.
Needless to say, rumors started to circulate there was a disturbance in the Force between Trank and Lucasfilm.
Here is Trank’s full statement from StarWars.com:
“After a year of having the incredible honor of developing with the wonderful and talented people at Lucasfilm, I’m making a personal decision to move forward on a different path. I’ve put a tremendous amount of thought into this, and I know deep down in my heart that I want to pursue some original creative opportunities. That said, the Star Wars universe has always been one of my biggest influences, and I couldn’t be more excited to witness its future alongside my millions of fellow Star Wars fans. I want to thank my friends Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart, Simon Kinberg, and everyone at Lucasfilm and Disney for the amazing opportunity to have been a part of this. May the Force be with you all.”
Sources tell Variety the film might be pushed to 2019.