Josh Trank Explains Why He Left Star Wars Spin-Off

Ryan Leston
UK Movies Writer

After Josh Trank’s high-profile exit from the upcoming ‘Star Wars’ spin-off, it looks as though the young director wants to set things straight.

During an interview with The L.A. Times, the 31-year-old director says he was expecting the backlash… but now he explains it’s not all as it seems.

“At first I was like, ‘I’m just not going to say anything because it will blow over’,” he explained. “But I was shocked – it just hasn’t blown over. People get so excited to raise their pitchforks.”

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Of course, the huge controversy came along after he missed an appearance to talk about the upcoming movie at the fan convention, ‘Star Wars Celebration’. And while Lucasfilm folks explained that he was feeling unwell, many of the trades reported signs of trouble behind the scenes.

And after Trank stepped down from the upcoming ‘Star Wars’ movie, the rumours really began to gather steam.

“I knew that this was going to be questioned and it was going to come under scepticism as to why I left ‘Star Wars’,” he continued. “And it was hard. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life.”

Some of the most disparaging rumours focussed on the reportedly strained relationship between Trank and the studio – hinting at strange behaviour on set, his pet dogs trashing a $100,000 studio property and even a falling out with producer Simon Kinberg.

But now it seems that Kinberg himself has come to Trank’s defence.

“I’ve been around some version of this for a long time,” said Kinberg. “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.”

Of course, Josh Trank is quick to dismiss the rumours… and claims that these reported circumstances couldn’t be further from the truth.

“None of those facts were true – and any of the facts that were true were spun in such a maliciously wrong way,” he said. “If you ask anybody by name who I’ve worked with, from Simon to [producer] Hutch [Parker] or my crew or anybody else, they’d be like, ‘We’ve been working really hard on this movie and we’ve had an excellent time working together.’ It’s been a challenging movie – for all of the right reasons.“

Why did he leave the ‘Star Wars’ spin-off? He explains that it was all down to the overwhelming nature of working on two enormous franchises back-to-back.

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

But which version of events is closer to the truth? I get the feeling we won’t get to the bottom of this anytime soon. Either way, it looks as though Trank won’t be heading to the galaxy far, far away.

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Picture Credit: 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm