Josh Trank No Longer Directing ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff

Josh Trank
Courtesy of Fox

Josh Trank will no longer direct the “Star Wars” spinoff for Disney and Lucasfilm.

The studio made the announcement with Trank on Friday.

“It was a privilege to collaborate with Josh,” Lucasfilm said in a statement. “We are grateful for the energy and love of ‘Star Wars’ that he brought to the process, and we wish him all the best.”

Sources close to the situation tell Variety that Trank and screenwriter Simon Kinberg weren’t thrilled with the idea of working together again. The duo apparently clashed while filming 20th Century Fox’s “Fantastic Four” reboot, which opens later this summer, and Kinberg wanted another director.

Also a writer of Fox’s “X-Men” films, Kinberg is a major force in Disney’s “Star Wars” universe. He recently served as a creative consultant on J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which bows in December, and continues to help shape the cherished fantasy series.

Trank’s exit on Friday wasn’t a total shock. Less than two weeks ago, the “Chronicle” director was a no-show to Disney’s Star Wars Celebration at the last minute, prompting internet speculation that something was afoot. The 30 year-old quickly apologized on Twitter, telling fans that he was sick with the flu.

“Hey all. So, so, so sad to have missed today. Worst flu of my life,” he wrote.

Disney later backed his claim, saying Trank notified the studio the morning-of the event about his illness. They also insisted he was still attached to the movie. Other rumors suggested that Disney told him to skip the event.

The untitled “Star Wars” movie won’t be released until 2019, according to sources. It’s one of two standalone pics Disney and Lucasfilm are developing. Gareth Edwards’ “Rogue One,” starring Felicity Jones, opens next year.

Another oddity from the Star Wars Celebration on April 19 event came when 20th Century Fox released the “Fantastic Four” trailer during the Trank and Gareth Edwards’ scheduled panel, leaving industry observers scratching their heads: Why would a major studio film drop a high-profile trailer on Sunday morning? Were they trying to send a message?

Fox, of course, used to distribute the “Star Wars” films before Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012.

News of Trank’s exit was announced the same day that Disney released its biggest film of the year, “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

In a statement posted on the “Star Wars” official site, Trank said: “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.”

As for Trank’s next move, a rep for 20th Century Fox told Variety that no director or writer has been set for the “Fantastic Four” sequel. Starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan, the new “Fantastic Four” will be released Aug. 7.

A spokesman for Trank could not be reached for comment.

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  1. ted says:

    “a spin off” ? What whores.

  2. Paully says:

    I’m guessing Joss Whedon gets the nod.

  3. Ahsoka says:

    Are you saying the second anthology film is now delayed to 2019 ?

    • Duder NME says:

      VII: 2015
      Rogue One: 2016
      VIII: 2017
      Josh Josh Tranks and IX: 2019

      Maybe they can throw in a Rebels “movie” in 2018?

  4. filmsharks says:

    What’s interesting to me is that they canned the director but kept the screenwriter. It’s usually the other way around with artistic differences.

    • It helps that the screenwriter is also one of the producers, as well as a major part of the group of people shepherding the franchise.

    • AKA says:

      Trank is getting canned because he was apparently a nightmare to work with on FF. The stories are that he just didn’t do a good job and Kinsberg and others had to step in to finish the film.

  5. Duder NME says:

    Trank’s diplomatic exit speech denotes someone Disney would have been happy to usurp as a yes man. Maybe he went full Wright just before things got all obviously servile.

  6. Roci says:

    How many more dead horses will Hollywood kick back into a zombie life? Or else?
    Two failed Fantastc “what for?” Films haven’t convinced any of these pea brained Hollywood execs that they have a dog on their hands. The Public WILL like the next “stupor hero” film we shovel at them! Or else!
    They could get the greatest Directors in Hollywood History out of their graves, and given the shapeless mess of these “Franchises” none of them could make a good picture out of a hopeless mass of goop that all these pictures have become.
    For all the silk purse wrapped around Trank’s firing, he did manage to get one thing right. That bit about “Original creativity.”
    Which as we all know is something Hollywood will never risk. At least not as long as there is one more dead horse to be dragged up from the grave and kicked back to life.
    I’m expecting a new “Hulk” Reboot” any minute.
    Which is to say I wish the Hulk would give a good swift kick to the pea brains who come up with all this “reboot” garbage.

  7. Bea of Fake A Baby says:

    Shocking, but he’s gonna prosper anyway.

  8. Pixworks says:

    He calls Simon Kinberg a “friend” and yet this article suggest that the two had a fall out during production of F4 that caused him to leave Star Wars.

    • Duder NME says:

      That’s just diplomacy without the “aggressive negotiations”. Having Kinberg shepherd this after stamping his Hancock on Fox-Men give me reason to pause… and then throw out the DVD with the player.

  9. IT 2 IT says:

    Franchise slums meet theme park – – —charges ON! —to NOWHERE.

  10. tobiahbarneylovesmath says:

    How much did that camera cost?

  11. So long, and thanks for the
    fish

  12. Fanboy says:

    Yes! He already ruined the Fantastic Four, he doesn’t deserve to direct a Star Wars movie.

    • Duder NME says:

      Watch out, we got a fanass here.

    • Simon says:

      Amazing you’ve already seen the completed film for yourself and not just a trailer.

      • Fanboy says:

        Victor Domashev is Pathetic, Teenage Fantastic Four is Pathetic, Non-Stretchable Mr Fantastic is Pathetic. Do I need to go on?

    • T0rchwood says:

      Yep, but somebody at somebody at Disney should be thanking him. Once the FF reboot TANKS, the property will be back at Marvel, where it belongs.

      • Guido Merkens. says:

        Yeah, because Marvel hasn’t made mediocre Iron Man movies after the first one, or anything.

      • Fanboy says:

        Exactly, the Fantastic Four will finally be home, now the X-Men should comeback too

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