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Fantastic Four and Chronicle director leaves Star Wars spinoff film

It was announced back in June 2014 that Chronicle director Josh Trank would direct one of the upcoming spinoff films in the Star Wars franchise, but now the filmmaker has exited the project, citing “a personal decision to move forward on a different path.” Trank was oringally signed on to direct the as-yet-unnamed second Star Wars spinoff, which will accompany the spinoff directed by Gareth Edwards, Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One

The announcement was made on StarWars.com, with Trank offering a statement on his departure from the highly anticipated film.

“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. 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.”

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.”

While the two statements suggest the split was amicable, The Hollywood Reporter indicates that Trank’s departure from the still-untitled film was far from a mutual decision. Citing anonymous sources connected with the film, the report suggests that Trank’s “erratic” on-set behavior during the filming of Fantastic Four and behind-the-scenes problems with that movie pushed Disney to dismiss him from the Star Wars project.

There may have been some early indications of trouble on the horizon during the recent Star Wars Celebration convention when Trank didn’t attend the event. With Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One director Gareth Edwards present to promote his film at the event, Disney cited medical reasons for Trank’s absence.

Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot hits theaters August 7.