Did Josh Trank leave or was he fired from directing the second Star Wars Anthology film?
Directing any Star Wars movie is an honor most directors won’t shy away from, but it comes with a lot of responsibility and dedication. The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams had a hard time accepting the position since it interfered with family plans, However, in the end, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy was able to convince him to join the Disney production.
Something seemed to be out of place when Josh Trank — who had been hired to direct the yet untitled Star Wars second Anthology — didn’t show up at a scheduled Star Wars Celebration appearance in Anaheim. Both Disney and Trank explained the absence was due to illness, however, according to a report in the Hollywood Reporter, multiple sources said the studio didn’t want Trank there while they decided whether to keep him at the helm of the new Anthology.
On Friday, the Star Wars website posted a statement that read.
“Josh Trank, who was attached to direct the second Star Wars Anthology film, has decided to depart the project.”
In the statement, Trank very politely explained his abrupt departure from the project, which is set to hit theaters in May of 2018.
“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.”
Lucasfilm VP of Development Kiri Hart added, “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.”
But all was not as it seems, and more behind-the-scenes details are surfacing thanks to THR. Apparently, one of the reasons Lucasfilm let Josh Trank go was his unpredictable, “erratic” behavior while filming Fantastic Four.
Producers allegedly had one heck of a time pulling the film together. One insider said Josh Trank’s behavior was at times “very isolated” and the 30-year-old didn’t offer clear direction.
“If you’ve got someone who can’t answer questions or who isn’t sure or is in hiding, that’s not good.”
There is no question that the talent is there — after all, Trank directed the critically acclaimed Chronicle. Despite all the “bumps” on the road, a Fox spokesman says the studio is happy with how Fantastic Four — which is set to be released August 7 — turned out.
One of the incidents that made executives question their decision to keep Josh Trank on board involved the director allegedly leaving several small dogs unattended in a rented house while filming Fantastic Four in New Orleans. The animals left $100,000 in property damage, which the studio considers to be Trank’s responsibility.
Another insider compared Josh Trank’s behavior to that of newly hired NBA stars who bring in a lot of talent, but not a lot of sense about how to carry themselves.
“There’s equipment he doesn’t yet have,” the insider said.
But the problems not only came outside the set, according to the report. Producers Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker had to become directly involved when Trank needed help pulling the film together, despite being in control of the set.
Also, re-shoots had to be scheduled around the film’s busy star’s schedule. The latest one — in late April — had to be done on weekends, because of Miles Teller’s obligations on Arms and the Dude. But what may have prompted the final decision to let Trank go is when Simon Kinberg himself complained to Kennedy.
At this time, the studio is searching for a replacement for Josh Trank and hoping the issue will not become a headache that delays production. Disney has not officially commented on the leaks.
[Photo by Amanda Edwards]