Production is in full swing on the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars: Episode VII, and we’ll see our first official post-Disney buyout addition to the canon this fall, with the animated series Star Wars Rebels. True to form, all things Star Wars are shrouded in secrecy and mystery, and that extends to the standalone additions to the franchise that will alternate years with the Episode films. All we really know officially about those is that Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards will direct the first, while Josh Trank, the man behind Chronicle, will helm the second. A hot young director in his own right, Trank still had a helping hand when it came to getting a job in that far, far away galaxy.
Shortly after the mysterious spin-off movies, which have been described as origin stories, were announced, Simon Kinberg were tagged to do some of the writing. When the Trank announcement first came down, he was in the process of directing a new Fantastic Four movie, a movie scripted by none other than Kinberg. Coincidence? Perhaps, but perhaps not. When Slashfilm recently sat down with the scribe, they asked if he had any role in getting Trank hired. He said:
I spoke very highly of Josh to the Lucasfilm guys. They were interested in him because he, like Rian [Johnson, director of Episode VIII] and like Gareth [Edwards, director of a 2016 spin-off], is very much that next generation filmmaker. He comes from a background of making a big movie without a big budget. Which I think is also, not that these movies…they’ll have huge budgets, but the sort of the tradition that George [Lucas] started was somebody that came from making American Graffiti to making a huge science fiction movie. And so there was some of that sort of vibe I know Lucasfilm likes about these new filmmakers. But yeah, I definitely was involved in that process.
It’s good to have friends, even when you’re already helming a big time comic book adaptation for a major motion picture studio.
We know that Trank has been hired, and that’s all the concrete information that we actually have. Enough reports have said that Edwards will direct the first stand alone film—possibly written by Lawrence Kasdan and focused on Boba Fett—that it’s widely believed Trank will direct the second, set to drop in 2018. That’ll give him more than enough time to finish Fantastic Four and get the production together.
This is the alleged release schedule for Star Wars for the six years:
2015: Episode VII
2016: Boba Fett
2017: Episode VIII
2019: Episode IX
2020: Red Five
If this is indeed the lineup, it stands to reason that Trank will direct a movie about a young Han Solo, which could be an interesting time. No pressure on the kid who has to step into the shoes of one of the most iconic, beloved characters in movie history, or anything.