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Josh Trank Talks 'Star Wars' Departure, Denies Previous Reports

Director Josh Trank has opened up on the reasons behind leaving the "Star Wars" franchise -- and he says previous reports on the circumstances behind his departure are false.

In an interview with Hero Complex, Trank called leaving the "Star Wars Anthology" film he was slated to direct "the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life." Yet after his experiencing directing the upcoming "Fantastic Four" reboot film for 20th Century Fox, he said he wanted to focus on original material, rather than jumping back into a franchise.

"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," Trank told Hero Complex. "And it's not healthy for me right now in my life. I want to do something that's below the radar."

Trank said he has a "great relationship" with Lucasfilm, and denies a riff with "Fantastic Four" producer Simon Kinberg, who was also slated to produce Trank's "Star Wars" spinoff film. "Simon and I have become closer friends through this," Trank said. Kinberg added, "I haven't really seen this level of vehemence against a filmmaker. And it's surreal and unfair."

The director also specifically denied claims in a Hollywood Reporter piece from May 1, namely that he was isolated on the "Fantastic Four" set and that his dogs caused $100,000 worth of damages at a rented house he was living in during the filming of the film. "It's crazy and it's not true," Trank said. "I have three pugs and a little Boston terrier."

Trank first caught Hollywood attention with 2012's "Chronicle," also starring Michael B. Jordan; "Fantastic Four's" Human Torch. He was slated to direct the second "Star Wars Anthology" film -- taking place in Star Wars continuity but outside the story of the main trilogies -- following Gareth Edwards' "Star Wars: Rogue One," but was announced to be leaving the project on May 1. His "Fantastic Four" is scheduled for release on Aug. 7.

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