It’s been half a decade since Josh Trank, announced as a future Star Wars director alongside Gareth Edwards on one of the then forthcoming Star Wars Story films, stepped away from the project after the very public critical and financial mauling handed out to his Fantastic Four reboot. A rising star of cinema who had already broken records (the youngest director to ever go in at number one with his breakout film Chronicle) his swift exit from the public eye is a fascinating story.
It didn’t help that throughout the making of Fantastic Four, Trank had a second job. A few months before production, Kinberg, who, on top of producing superhero movies for Fox, was a consultant at Lucasfilm, asked Trank if he wanted to make a Star Wars movie. Kinberg knew that Trank had met with Kiri Hart of the Lucasfilm story group after Chronicle, and now the company was interested in hearing his pitch for a spinoff movie.
At the time, Trank rented a house in Benedict Canyon just a few blocks from where George Lucas lived with his editor and wife Marcia Lucas when he wrote the first draft of Star Wars. With a few days to mull over Kinberg’s offer, Trank walked up to the Lucas house and basked in its glow. He called it one of the most surreal moments of his life. “The visions that I had in that moment were just out of this world,” he said. He walked back to his home with a three-act pitch for a Boba Fett movie.
Trank presented the idea to Hart, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and Disney chairman Alan Horn. Up until that point, only J.J. Abrams had been approved to play in the Star Wars sandbox, and granting permission for a filmmaker to forever impact the moneymaking mythos was a monthslong process. But the guy who made his name with a lightsaber-themed viral video came out the other end with a Star Wars movie deal.
The next June, in the middle of production on Fantastic Four, Lucasfilm announced the director as part of the family. “He is such an incredible talent and has a great imagination and sense of innovation,” Kennedy said. “That makes him perfectly suited to Star Wars.” Nearly a year later, Trank would bow out of the movie. “I quit because I knew I was going to be fired if I didn’t quit.”
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- Russell, Alex, Jordan, Michael B., Dehaan, Dane (Actors)
- English, Spanish (Subtitles)
- English (Publication Language)
- Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)