Josh Trank Star Wars

The departure of director Josh Trank from the second Star Wars Anthology film, written by Trank’s Fantastic Four writer/producer Simon Kinberg, was the final stage in a sequence of rumors and Hollywood storytelling that had, for weeks, cast a shadow over both Fox’s new Marvel movie and the in-development Star Wars spinoff. Now Trank has broken his silence on the topic for the first time since the brief statement that accompanied his departure from Star Wars.

At the time, rumors said that Trank had been fired from the Star Wars spin-off, in part due to his behavior and/or performance on Fantastic Four. “None of those facts were true,” Trank said in a new interview this week, “and any of the facts that were true were spun in such a maliciously wrong way.” Read his explanation of the chain of events and rumors that follow, and try to sort out the truth of the matter for yourself.

Trank recently spoke to the LA Times, explaining his surprise at the vehemence of the response to his departure from Star Wars.

At first I was like, ‘I’m just not going to say anything because it will blow over. But I was shocked – it just hasn’t blown over. People get so excited to raise their pitchforks. I knew that this was going to be questioned and it was going to come under skepticism as to why I left ‘Star Wars.’ And it was hard. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life.

In the interview, Trank does his best to scuttle rumors that range from his deteriorating relationship with Lucasfilm (“I have a great relationship with everyone at Lucasfilm”) and Simon Kinberg (“Simon and I have become closer friends through this”) to stories that his dogs ruined a rented New Orleans apartment, with the financial burden landing in Fox’s lap.

It feels sometimes like I’m living in a Paddy Chayefsky script or something like that. Every misconception that could possibly be made about this has been made to a hilariously satirical degree. And it’s people who haven’t met me before. If they met me – I don’t know, I feel like I’m a pretty harmless person.

Kinberg does chime in with a defense for Trank:

I’ve been around some version of this for a long time. This, I would say, is particularly cruel. I haven’t really seen this level of vehemence against a filmmaker. And it’s surreal and unfair.

After this, it sounds like Trank’s preferred project will be something that comes free of pre-existing expectations.

I want to do something original after this because I’ve been living under public scrutiny, as you’ve seen, for the last four years of my life. And it’s not healthy for me right now in my life. I want to do something that’s below the radar.

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