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Trank rolling toward ‘Fantastic Four’

Fox keen on 'Chronicle' helmer for superhero reboot

Helmer Josh Trank has emerged as the frontrunner to direct 20th Century Fox’s reboot of Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” franchise — a major sign of confidence from the studio in Trank’s upcoming supervillain pic “Chronicle.”

Trank has had several meetings regarding the “Fantastic Four” project, but with his debut feature still three weeks away, Fox is expected to wait to see how “Chronicle” opens over Super Bowl weekend before extending an official offer. Studio is also awaiting the latest draft of the script by Michael Green (“Green Lantern”).

That said, Fox is high on “Chronicle” and would like to keep Trank in business with the studio, which has displayed confidence in the pic, offering exclusive footage during the NFL’s wild-card weekend after the pic’s trailer generated massive traffic online.

Internally, studio execs expect Trank to land the coveted helming gig.

Akiva Goldsman was originally set to produce through his Weed Road banner, but he’s no longer involved.

Tim Story directed the first two “Fantastic Four” movies, which grossed $620 million worldwide combined.

Fox recently rebooted its “X-Men” franchise successfully with “X-Men: First Class,” in which found James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender took over the roles of Professor X and Magneto from Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. In addition to a sequel to “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” the studio is developing a spinoff of that film that would focus on Ryan Reynolds’ character Deadpool, as well as a new take on “Daredevil,” which starred Ben Affleck.

Though Marvel owns and finances properties like “Iron Man” and “Thor,” Fox controls Fantastic Four in perpetuity as long as it continues making the films. Fox has the same arrangement on Marvel Comics properties X-Men, Daredevil and Silver Surfer. Marvel is a producer and financial participant through a licensing agreement.

Trank got his start writing and directing several episodes of Spike TV’s miniseries “The Kill Point” and went on to serve as editor and co-producer of Robert Siegel’s acclaimed indie “Big Fan.”

Max Landis wrote “Chronicle,” which follows three teens who gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery but soon find their lives spinning out of control as they embrace their darker sides.

Trank is repped by WME.

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