Josh Trank, who was attached to direct a “Star Wars” standalone film, has exited the project.
“I’m making a personal decision to move forward on a different path,” Trank said in a statement Friday. “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.”
Trank was set to direct the second of several standalone “Star Wars” movies Lucasfilm has planned to exist alongside the existing trilogy, the prequel trilogy and the upcoming sequel trilogy. Few details have been unveiled about the film, which is expected to be released in 2018. Trank had been working on the project for a year. His absence from a planned presentation at last month’s Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim raised eyebrows, though Trank blamed the flu.
Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s vice president of development, said in a 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.”
Trank, whose breakout film “Chronicle” earned critical praise, is directing Fox’s reboot of “Fantastic Four,” starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell as the super quartet.
Meanwhile, the first standalone “Star Wars” film, “Rogue One,” is scheduled for release Dec. 16, 2016. “Rogue One” is helmed by “Godzilla” director Gareth Edwards and will center on a small band of rebel soldiers (including actress Felicity Jones) who unite on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star in between the events of the last of the prequels, “Revenge of the Sith,” and the first of the original trilogy, “A New Hope.”
Director J. J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens” — the first film in the upcoming “Star Wars” sequel trilogy — is due in theaters Dec. 18.