Josh Trank, slated to direct a Star Wars spin-off, has left the project after being involved with it for over a year. Speculation had swirled around about an imminent exit after Trank was a no-show at a four-day franchise celebration in April, Vanity Fair reported.
Variety reported that Trank and screenwriter Simon Kinberg were not very happy about working together, and that the pair also had differences while working on 20th Century Fox’s “Fantastic Four” reboot, which will be released this summer. Lucasfilm announced Trank's departure from the Star Wars spin-off Friday, in a statement. Kinberg is a major contributor to the Star Wars franchise and was a creative consultant to J.J. Abrams for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which will release in December.
“It was a privilege to collaborate with Josh,” Kiri Hart, vice president of development at Lucasfilm, said, in the statement, adding: “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 Star Wars spin-off flick, which has not been titled yet and is one of two standalone "Anthology" films that Disney and Lucasfilm are making together, will be released sometime in 2018.
On his departure, Trank said: “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,” adding: “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.
“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. I want to thank my friends Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart, Simon Kinberg, and everyone at Lucasfilm and Disney for the amazing opportunity to have been a part of this. May the Force be with you all,” Trank said, in the statement.