CHRONICLE Director Josh Trank to Helm STAR WARS Spinoff Film

     June 4, 2014

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While filmmaker J.J. Abrams is busy directing Star Wars: Episode VII, Lucasfilm and Disney continue to build up their slate of future Star Wars films.  Godzilla director Gareth Edwards has already been tapped to direct a Star Wars spinoff film set for release on December 16, 2016, and now Lucasfilm and Disney have announced that Chronicle director Josh Trank will helm a separate Star Wars spinoff film for an unspecified release date.  Much more after the jump.

star-wars-han-solo-spinoffThough Abrams’ Episode VII doesn’t hit theaters until December 18, 2015, Lucasfilm and Disney are wasting no time in putting together their roster of filmmakers for other Star Wars films.  As with the Edwards announcement, there’s no word on the nature of Trank’s film—officially called a “Star Wars stand-alone movie”—but previous reports have claimed that movies focusing on Boba Fett, young Han Solo, and Yoda are in the works.  Though Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were initially penning the stand-alone movies, Edwards is working with screenwriter Gary Whitta (After Earth) on his film.  It’s unclear if Trank will pen his own Star Wars movie or if he’ll be working with a writer, but given that he’s kind of tied up at the moment, it’s probably the latter.

We can glean a couple of interesting insights from the news of Trank’s involvement in the Star Wars universe.  He’s currently directing the superhero reboot The Fantastic Four at 20th Century Fox, and while the studio has already set a 2017 release date for The Fantastic Four 2, the fact that Trank is now attached to a Star Wars film probably means he won’t return as the director on the Fantastic Four sequel.

Disney has previously made clear its plan to release a new Star Wars film every year starting with Episode VII in 2015, and with Edwards’ spinoff set for 2016, we can surmise that Episode VIII will hit theaters in 2017, likely followed by Trank’s film in 2018.  Since the studio is already setting a director for its 2018 movie and has yet to announce a director for Episode VIII, does this mean Abrams is likely to return as the director of the next main Star Wars film?  Seems likely.

star-wars-a-new-hope-posterIt’s interesting to see that the studios are pulling from young and new talent for these stand-alone Star Wars films.  Though names like Jon Favreau, Matthew Vaughn, and even David Fincher were bandied about for the Episode VII gig, Disney and Lucasfilm seem keen on tapping new talent for the spinoffs.  With only Chronicle to go by I can’t really weigh in on whether Trank is a good fit, but we’ll have a much better idea of his big-budget sensibilities when The Fantastic Four opens next summer.  He certainly seems enthusiastic about the development.

Here’s the full press release from Disney:

In addition to the episodes of a new Star Wars trilogy, Lucasfilm and Disney continue development of multiple stand-alone movies that will offer new stories beyond the core Saga. The newest director to come on board is Josh Trank.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Josh into the family,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “He is such an incredible talent and has a great imagination and sense of innovation. That makes him perfectly suited to Star Wars, and for this new slate of movies that reach beyond the core characters and storylines of Episodes I through IX.”

Trank states, “The magic of the Star Wars Universe defined my entire childhood. The opportunity to expand on that experience for future generations is the most incredible dream of all time.”

Trank captured imaginations worldwide with his critically lauded directorial debut Chronicle, a fresh and engaging take on the superhero genre. Trank is currently at work on The Fantastic Four for 20th Century Fox.

For more of our Star Wars: Episode VII coverage, click on the links below:

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