A few days ago, news of Josh Trank’s departure from the as-of-yet untitled Star Wars spinoff hit the internet, though not quite as hard as one may have assumed. Since Trank’s absence from the Star Wars Celebration panel that he was to share with Star Wars: Rogue One director Gareth Edwards, rumors had swirled that maybe Trank wasn’t getting along so well in a galaxy far, far, away, so news of his departure was almost expected. The unknown in the matter was the reason behind his (presumed) decision to leave. Well, THR has received some new information that points more towards Trank being asked to leave one of the most profitable franchises in history, rather than choosing to leave on his own.
As previously rumored, it appears that Trank’s unorthodox behavior on the set of the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot has more than a bit to do with Disney’s decision to part ways with the Chronicle director. According to one unnamed source, Trank’s behavior on the set of the superhero flick was “erratic” and the director was, at times, “very isolated”. The insider does go a bit further by claiming that the director’s behavior affected the movie itself:
“If you’ve got someone who can’t answer questions or who isn’t sure or is in hiding, that’s not good.”
Ouch. Directors with…”unusual” personalities are not an uncommon occurrence and some would argue that this eccentricity may even lend itself to a director’s genius, a la Stanley Kubrick. Unfortunately for Trank, however, the only movie he currently has under his belt is Chronicle which, in all fairness, was a hell of a movie, but not necessarily one to build an ego around.
So, what could have been so bad that Disney decided not to take a chance on the filmmaker? According to inside sources, Trank’s erratic personality was just the beginning. If the information is to be believed, Trank’s “several” small dogs were left in a New Orleans rental house while he was on set and the damage caused by the dogs came out to around $100k. There are no photos to back this claim up, so this could simply be a rumor, but if it is true, how much damage must those dogs have done? The dogs are described as “small” but what kind of dogs does he have that could cause enough damage to buy them their own human sized home? More to the point, why on Earth would Trank allow the damage to a home he does not own?
It isn’t Trank’s talent that’s in question here, according to another insider, it is simply his behavior:
“No question there’s talent there. You can’t do Chronicle by accident. [Trank is] like one of these kids who comes to the NBA with all the talent and none of the character-based skills to handle it. There’s equipment he doesn’t yet have.”
In addition to the utter disregard for another person’s property and his lack of social skills, Trank’s work on Fantastic Four was less than appreciated. Because of his “indecisive” and “uncommunicative” behavior, FF producers Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker decided that they needed to be much more involved, inserting themselves onto the set of the film while Trank continued to direct. In addition, Trank’s direction of FF became so scattered that Avatar editor Stephen Rivkin was brought in to try to rein in the disaster, in an effort to make the movie something worth releasing. In the end, a spokesman for Fox claims that the studio is “very happy with the movie and we can’t wait for audiences to see it”, even though “there were definitely some bumps in the road”.
Of course, Fox wouldn’t advertise that they weren’t happy with a movie that they have spent over $100 million developing. Especially, considering that there are plenty of fans out there who are worried about the movie as it is. After Fox decided to skip presenting a Fantastic Four panel at San Diego Comic-Con last year, rumors that Fox was unhappy with the product and was hiding it from audiences spread like wildfire. Those rumors were further fanned earlier this year when the stars of the movie were called back for reshoots just a few months before the scheduled release of the film, with Kinberg and Parker taking valuable time from their work on X-Men: Apocalypse, which they are also producing, to work on those reshoots. Should fans be worried? Well, Fox did what they could to produce a Fantastic Four movie before the rights reverted to Marvel and I think most of us remember how well things turned out last time this happened to the team.
Chances are that Fox will use this year’s San Diego Comic-Con to finally unveil more about FF; at this point they would be stupid not to present a panel at the massive pop culture event. While Fantastic Four has provided a couple of cool trailers, Fox really needs to ramp up its campaign for the superhero flick if they want to pull in audiences. With movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Avengers: Age of Ultron setting the bar for Marvel flicks, even those not necessarily in the MCU, Fantastic Four has a lot to live up to and, so far, nothing the public has seen is enough for the reboot to step to the line, much less try to jump the bar. At this point, fans can hope for one of two things: either the movie winds up being ridiculously epic or, it winds up being so horrendously bad that Fox has no choice but to play nice with Marvel to set up future Fantastic Four movies, much in the way Sony had to change their Spider-Man model after the failure of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
In the end, let’s all just be very happy that Trank is no longer attached to a new Star Wars movie and, hopefully, whoever Disney finds to replace him will give us a Wars movie of which we can be proud. In the meanwhile, in case you haven’t had a chance to check it out, here is the latest trailer for the new Fantastic Four:
Are you glad Trank is no longer attached to a Star Wars spinoff? Are you excited for Fantastic Four or are you over it?