It's an understatement to say that Josh Trank's leaving Star Wars was a bit suspicious. He'd been announced as one of the guests at the Star Wars Celebration event that took place last April but had ended up as a no-show. Although his no-show was said to be a result of him being "under the weather," fans were instantly skeptical, and their skepticism was rewarded when Trank officially left the project a couple weeks later. News outlets ran rampant with reports about Trank's strange on-set behavior while filming the upcoming Fantastic Four movie, which he directed for Fox.
According to THR's report last month, insiders on the Fantastic Four set had more than their fair share of reasons why Trank may have been let go from the Star Wars project. He was described by insiders as "erratic" and "isolated." Most importantly, Trank offered very little in the way of clear-cut direction.
"If you've got someone who can't answer questions or who isn't sure or is in hiding, that's not good."
Another insider described him as incredibly talented, but lacking in the personality necessary to take on big projects.
"Like one of these kids who comes to the NBA with all the talent and none of the character-based skills to handle it. There's equipment he doesn't yet have."
It's been months since that initial report, and not a lot has changed regarding the industry's perspective on Josh Trank. Many believe he was canned by Lucasfilm executives in an effort to reduce on-set hardships for the second Star Wars Anthology film. But in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Trank flat-out denies these allegations.
"None of those facts were true – and any of the facts that were true were spun in such a maliciously wrong way," Trank told them.
The director then went on to clarify his reasoning for not clearing things up earlier.
"At first I was like, 'I'm just not going to say anything because it will blow over, But I was shocked – it just hasn't blown over. People get so excited to raise their pitchforks... If you ask anybody by name who I've worked with, from Simon to [producer] Hutch [Parker] or my crew or anybody else, they'd be like, 'We've been working really hard on this movie and we've had an excellent time working together.' It's been a challenging movie – for all of the right reasons."
In Trank's initial statement upon leaving the Star Wars film, he cited that he wanted to move into something more original. In the Los Angeles Times interview, he embellishes on this idea and how working on such a big project affected his personal life.
"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. And it's not healthy for me right now in my life. I want to do something that's below the radar... I have a great relationship with everyone at Lucasfilm and with Kiri Hart, and they all understood it because this whole experience for me has been very psychologically hard."
What do you think about Josh Trank's statements? Do you buy that he voluntarily left the Star Wars Anthology project? Let us know your thoughts below!