Oh Boy.

After spinoff director Josh Trank missed the recent Star Wars Celebration due to the “worst flu of [his] life,” rumors quickly circled that of course he was fired because that’s just how the Internet works. But maybe there was some semblance of truth to those rumblings because today Josh Trank, director of Chronicle and the upcoming F4nt4stic Four, has stepped down from directing the second Star Wars spinoff film that we have yet to receive any details on – other than Trank’s involvement, of course. This was the statement he released via StarWars.com:

“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.”

No creative differences, apparently, just a “personal decision.” It’s hard to say if there’s more at play here. Usually there is. But it’s unclear what they could be. THR seems to think Disney asked him not to come Star Wars Celebration, which could mean these behind-the-scenes disturbances could’ve been happening for some time. And between this and rumors that he was “difficult” on the set of F4nt4stic Four… Yikes.

Again, it’s hard to say just yet what this means for Star Wars (likely not a lot) or Trank. The guy is talented, so it would be disappointing to see this affect him moving forward. He does bring that he wants to pursue “original creative opportunities,” though, so that fills me with some hope.

Lucasfilm VP of Development Kiri Hart would add: “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.”

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