Back in December I wrote the following:
[Simon] Kinberg apparently recommended [Josh] Trank to Kathleen Kennedy as a potential Star Wars director, given that Trank is a Star Wars fan who seemed to be a director to watch. Things may not have gone to plan, however. […]
Putting it all together, the scuttlebut seems to be that Trank has maybe ended his career before it ever really began… But if it is true, the odds of Trank making a Star Wars movie seem very slim indeed.
Lo and behold, I wake up this morning to read this in The Hollywood Reporter:
Trank raised eyebrows when he didn’t show up for a planned presentation at Disney’s Star Wars Celebration in April. At the time, Disney and Trank said he was not feeling well, with Trank tweeting that he had “worst flu of my life.” But sources say Trank was asked by Disney executives not to attend the event.
Rumors have persisted that Fox is unhappy with Trank’s performance on Fantastic Four and that Kinberg, who is producing both that film and the second Star Wars spinoff, was getting cold feet about working with Trank again.
Of course, StarWars.com is putting a more positive spin on things:
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. 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.”
Make of this what you will, but it lends a lot of weight to the rumours. Trank may be out of a career.
Update: The Hollywood Reporter details what went down:
- Trank’s behaviour on Fantastic Four was “erratic” and “very isolated”—he couldn’t “answer questions” and was sometimes “indecisive” and “uncommunicative” or even “in hiding”
- He and his small dogs caused “as much as $100,000 worth of damage” to a rented property in New Orleans that he was living in during production
- Producers Kinberg and Hutch Parker had to “pull the film together” (the implication being they essentially directed the film, including reshoots late last month)
- Stephen E. Rivkin (Avatar) was brought in to edit the film and bring it up to standard in place of Trank’s editor
- Kinberg spoke to Kathleen Kennedy and requested that Trank be removed from Star Wars
- Disney/Lucasfilm asked Trank not to attend Celebration Anaheim while they considered their options
- Finally, Trank was removed from the Star Wars project