Josh Trank Departs “Star Wars”

“Chronicle” and “Fantastic Four” director Josh Trank will no longer direct the proposed second in the “Star Wars Anthology” series, a second spin-off that was to debut between “Star Wars: Episode VIII” and “Star Wars: Episode IX”.

Trank’s departure was first suspected when he suddenly cancelled a planned appearance two weeks ago at the Star Wars Celebration fan event alongside filmmaker Gareth Edwards. Edwards is helming the first of the “Star Wars Anthology” films which is entitled “Star Wars: Rogue One”.

Trank was announced a year ago as the director of the still untitled film and has now given a statement about his departure:

“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.”

Trank also thanked Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy; Kiri Hart, the vice president of development and head of story at Lucasfilm; and screenwriter Simon Kinberg.

Hart said in the same statement: “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.”

The film is still expected to debut in 2018. No cast had been announced.