Josh Trank Explains His Decision to Leave ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff

Josh Trank
Courtesy of Fox

Josh Trank has cited the pressures of directing the “Star Wars” spinoff, following four years of work on “Fantastic Four,” as the key reason for dropping out of the Disney-Lucasfilm project a month ago.

In his first public interview since the May 1 announcement, Trank told the Los Angeles Times that he wants to do a lower profile project rather than a “Star Wars” movie after working on Fox’s “Fantastic Four.”

“I want to do something original after this because I’ve been living under public scrutiny, as you’ve seen, for the last four years of my life,” he told the newspaper. “And it’s not healthy for me right now in my life. I want to do something that’s below the radar.”

Trank’s statement on May 1 said only that he made 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.”

He told the Times that he had hoped there would be no lingering fallout from the decision to leave the “Star Wars” movie. That has not been the case, Trank asserted.

“At first I was like, ‘I’m just not going to say anything because it will blow over,’” he said. “But I was shocked – it just hasn’t blown over. People get so excited to raise their pitchforks. I knew that this was going to be questioned and it was going to come under skepticism as to why I left ‘Star Wars.’ And it was hard. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life.”

Speculation emerged following the announcement that Trank been fired from the “Star Wars” film due to erratic behavior on the set of “Fantastic Four” and that a rift had opened up between Trank and “Fantastic Four” producer and co-writer Simon Kinberg — also a producer on the “Star Wars” spinoff. Trank denied those rumors, as did Kinberg, who was also there for the Times’ interview.

“None of those facts were true – and any of the facts that were true were spun in such a maliciously wrong way,” Trank said.

Kinberg noted that Trank’s vision for “Fantastic Four” persuaded him to sign on to produce that  project. “This, I would say, is particularly cruel,” Kinberg said of the rumors. “I haven’t really seen this level of vehemence against a filmmaker. And it’s surreal and unfair.”

Trank also said he and Kimberg have become “closer” friends as a result.

“It feels sometimes like I’m living in a Paddy Chayefsky script or something like that,” he said. “Every misconception that could possibly be made about this has been made to a hilariously satirical degree. And it’s people who haven’t met me before. If they met me – I don’t know, I feel like I’m a pretty harmless person.”

Trank’s exit wasn’t a total shock. Less than two weeks before, 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.

The untitled “Star Wars” movie is not expected to be released until 2019 as the second of two standalone movies that Disney and Lucasfilm are developing. Gareth Edwards’ spinoff “Rogue One,” starring Felicity Jones, opens on Dec. 16, 2016.

“Fantastic Four,” starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan, will be released Aug. 7.

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  1. francesscarlet says:

    he has some serious addiction issues he needs to work on before it gets the best of him.

  2. Craig says:

    So your a liar (flu) and after 4 years of fumbling around with f4. You got paid and this movie is gonna bomb. Now your stuck, you gotta get your cred back and do something low key and decent. “I want to do something original after this” you sound like a Hollywood idiot cashing in on the reboot/remake bull crap going on. Real legit film makers shouldn’t want to go any where near crap like reboots/remakes. You sound like a tool.

    • therealeverton says:

      And there is the proof that much of what he says here is true.

      Ridiculous, undeserved, hatred from people who appear to know nothing of his work and less about a film that quite possibly nobody has even seen a finished version of yet.

    • Matthew says:

      The mentioned surreal level of hate demonstrates itself immediately.

      I’ve seen glimpses of it in previous comments from people who have been immediately disappointed with this comic book movie they haven’t seen yet (and started well before any trailers or promotion came out), and it really, truly, is bizarre.

      I want to ask “what the hell is inspiring this level of vitriol?” but clarifying that it’s a *rhetorical* question, as I’m sure the answer would be completely exhausting. It makes me wonder why any filmmaker would want to even attempt to cater to this crowd.

    • G. Henry says:

      Take your pills Craig, give the man some breathing room. F4 will be great and all will be right with the world. I for one, believe in Trank. He’s not let us down yet. All of this bluster and venom because he had the guts to let his version reflect the world we live in, is pure unadulterated BS. I for one could use some original ideas from Hollywood for a change.

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