There has been a disturbance in the Force. Josh Trank, director of Chronicle and the upcoming Fantastic Four movie, has pulled out of directing the second planned Star Wars standalone film.
Rumours of production difficulties had been circulating for some time, and seemed to come to a head before the Star Wars Celebration fan event, which Trask was mysteriously absent from. It's now been confirmed that Trank is indeed leaving the project.
“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,” he said in a statement.
“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.”
Trank was thought to be working on a tale to fit into the newly-established Star Wars Anthology series, likely focussing on a young Han Solo. This would have followed the 2017 release of Rian Johnson's Episode VIII, and would follow in the footsteps of Gareth Edwards' Rogue One, which is blazing a trail for the standalone movie set.
No replacement has yet been announced. [Entertainment Weekly]