Josh Trank Leaves ‘Star Wars’ Anthology Film
When Josh Trank didn’t show up at his Star Wars Celebration panel about the upcoming “Anthology” spinoff films, you had to wonder if this news was coming: Via an official statement dropped very late on a Friday afternoon, Trank announced he is leaving his Star Wars spinoff. His comments:
“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.”
Trank’s was one of two announced Star Wars Anthology films; the other, Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars: Rogue One, is scheduled to open on December 16, 2016. Trank’s, which didn’t have an announced subject or title, was due in May of 2018. It’s unclear at this point who’ll take over the project, or how much that project will change. Obviously, someone’s going to direct this movie, and given the 3 years of lead time, it shouldn’t affect the production schedule too drastically.
It will be interesting to see where Trank goes from here. A lot of that will likely depend on the success or failure of his version of Fantastic Four, which opens in theaters on August 7, 2015. The film is designed as a pretty drastic reboot of the Marvel franchise, but it’s been dogged for months by negative rumors, including the one published in The Hollywood Reporter’s post on Trank’s Star Wars departure that “[producer Simon] Kinberg, who is producing both [Fantastic Four] and the second Star Wars spinoff, was getting cold feet about working with Trank again.” THR also says that while Disney told fans he missed Star Wars Celebration because of the flu, their sources claim that Trank “was asked by Disney executives not to attend.”
Whether those rumors are true remains to be seen. What is undeniably true: When I saw Avengers: Age of Ultron last night with an excited theater full of Marvel nerds, almost every trailer before the feature presentation got wild, rabid applause, including Ant-Man and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The only one that got significant, loud, vocal boos: Trank’s Fantastic Four.