The past seven days

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Was Josh Trank fired from Star Wars or did he quit?

Just a day after announcing his departure from the Star Wars franchise, there are already rumors about the reasoning behind Josh Trank's decision. Despite his statement giving the impression that the decision was his, there are many speculating that it might have been Disney that gave him the boot.

But why?

Well, the biggest theory is due to the issues behind the scenes of his adaptation of Fantastic Four with 20th Century Fox. There were some issues with Trank's adaptation of the film which, at first, caused a delay of the film's production and release. There's also the matter of the less than thrilling responses the film's trailer has received so far. Writer/Producer Simon Kinberg worked with Trank on Fantastic Four and is on board for the Star Wars spin-offs and sources are claiming that he spoke up to the Disney/Lucasfilm executives about some "unusual behavior" Trank displayed while in development and on set. Apparently he also displayed a lot of uncertainty and was indecisive causing the writers and producers to step in and help him pull his own film together, including taking the reigns for reshoots of the film alongside the film's editor, Steven Rivkin. This behavior very well might have given Disney reason enough to kick Trank to the curb.
Continuing this rumor, sources are claiming that Disney's decision came just prior to the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim last week. Trank cited illness as reason for him not appearing, but he might have been asked by Disney not to appear. In addition to his absence, there was no mention of him or his spin-off film throughout the whole weekend. You can't use the excuse of not focusing on the spin-offs because Gareth Edwards' had his own panel for Star Wars: Rogue One, starring Felicity Jones, and we got a short teaser for the film.

So what happens now? We are still getting Star Wars: Rogue One in 2016. Trank's film was originally slated for a 2018 release just after Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII hits in 2017, but sources are claiming that Disney might shift the second spin-off to 2019. That leaves a gap in 2018 that will have to be filled with something if they want to keep a tradition of a Star Wars film every year. 
There is also no telling what is in Josh Trank's future with 20th Century Fox. We will have the chance to see Fantastic Four in August and a sequel has been announced, but Fox has not confirmed writers or a director for it. That is leading many to believe that Trank might be getting fired or has already been fired from that franchise as well. My guess is Fox is waiting to see what the response will be from audiences before officially hiring Trank to direct the sequel, but if the reception is bad and/or the movie is horrible you can expect him to be kicked to the curb once again.

Personally, I never understood why people gave this guy such big opportunities in the first place. It was all based on his directorial debut, Chronicle, and I'm sorry to break it to you but Chronicle was horrible. It was a classic example of a film that looked great on paper but it was a jumbled mess with a lack of vision and direction. Why Fox even gave him Fantastic Four confused me from the beginning and the issues on set proves that he doesn't belong in the world of blockbusters. I'm glad Disney recognized a problem and didn't take the chance.

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