"Fantastic Four" director Josh Trank won't be journeying to the "Star Wars" universe after all. In a statement posted Friday on StarWars.com, the director explained that he's made "a personal decision to move forward on a different path," and will instead focus on developing original properties.
Trank was officially revealed last June to be directing a standalone "Star Wars" movie, which have since officially been titled "Anthology" films -- set in the same continuity as the trilogies, yet telling separate stories. Though no details were yet revealed on Trank's film, it's said that Disney and Lucasfilm will continue to develop the project despite his departure.
The director was scheduled to speak, alongside "Star Wars: Rogue One" director Gareth Edwards, at a panel dedicated to the Anthology films last month at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, but did not appear due to a reported illness. Trank's "Fantastic Four" is scheduled for release on Aug. 7; a sequel has already been scheduled for June 9, 2017, though there's no word yet on if Trank will return.
Here's his statement in full:
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.
Lucasfilm VP of Development Kiri Hart added: "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."