There have been massive rumors surrounding Josh Trank exiting the Star Wars Anthology film, and his behavior on the set of Fantastic Four. In fact, if rumor is to be believed, then his antics on the latter is what forced producer Simon Kinberg to approach Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and allegedly asked her to let him go of the Star Wars spinoff.
However, if you’ve followed enough rumors on the internet, you start realizing that most of them tend to be either blown out of proportion, or just plain patently false. Trank spoke with LA Times to try and set the record straight:
None of those facts were true – and any of the facts that were true were spun in such a maliciously wrong way. At first I was like, ‘I’m just not going to say anything because it will blow over. But I was shocked – it just hasn’t blown over. People get so excited to raise their pitchforks. I knew that this was going to be questioned and it was going to come under skepticism as to why I left ‘Star Wars.’ And it was hard. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life.
As for whether Kinberg resented the director and got him fired, Trank insists that the opposite is actually true:
Simon and I have become closer friends through this. To have the rest of the world – other than the people who know us – think that we’re in some blood feud with each other over something… It feels sometimes like I’m living in a Paddy Chayefsky script or something like that. Every misconception that could possibly be made about this has been made to a hilariously satirical degree. And it’s people who haven’t met me before. If they met me – I don’t know, I feel like I’m a pretty harmless person.
Kinberg spoke alongside Trank, and defended the director, saying:
I’ve been around some version of this for a long time. 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.
Trank reiterates that the reason he left the Star Wars Anthology film was to pursue a smaller project that isn’t loaded with pre-existing expectations:
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. And it’s not healthy for me right now in my life. I want to do something that’s below the radar.
While I understand why many fans are against this version of Fantastic Four, I’ve been in the opposite camp. It looks like it could be a great film, and I maintain that it’s not a huge departure from the Ultimate Fantastic Four source material that it seems to be based on. There are plot points and design choices (mostly surrounding Doctor Doom) that nag me, but I haven’t seen how they play out yet, so I’ll reserve judgement.
Hopefully this will be the last we hear about these rumors and stories, whether true or not. Ultimately, it changes nothing, as we’ll get a version of the Fantastic Four, and he won’t be directing the second Star Wars Anthology film, and probably not FF 2, slated for 2017.
Fantastic Four will premiere in theaters August 7, 2015