In today’s world of instant news via social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, it’s rather hard for celebrities to do anything, without the general public instantly knowing the exact details. Social Media has also provided a platform for one’s thoughts to be instantly shared with the world, in 140 characters or less. This is what happened with Fantastic Four director Josh Trank, the man who was to helm a Star Wars anthology film about Boba Fett, before being separated from the project and Disney/Lucasfilm.
Trank has become the target of a veritable bludgeoning from critics of Fantastic Four, and the director took to Twitter to let everyone know where he stood on the matter.
The tweet was quickly taken down, but this is the internet, and many people took a screenshot of the rant, just in case it was in fact removed. However, Trank’s tweet makes one think, did he have a better version of Fantastic Four, before the studio stepped in and forced a different cut on him?
So how does this all relate to Star Wars? In April, at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California, Trank’s mysterious absence from the huge Star Wars Film Panel, began to raise questions among fans and media in attendance. Shortly after, Disney and Trank released a statement that the two were parting ways. Reports of damage caused by his dogs, to isolated behavior were all supposedly put to rest and denied by Trank, who seemed to be happy to amicably part ways with Disney/Lucasfilm.
Recently, Entertainment Weekly ran a piece detailing what went wrong with Fantastic Four, and with Josh Trank, who at one point was a must have director after his original and unique take on superhero movies, Chronicle, took Hollywood by storm. A quote from the EW piece, does seem to shed some light onto the situation.
"“…Sources close to those films say, without question, Trank was fired from the movie after Lucasfilm executives investigated rumors of the Fantastic Four conflict, talking to numerous figures involved in the movie, and determined he would be too big a risk for a Star Wars film.”"
This explanation seems to fit more in line with what actually happened. If Disney and Lucasfilm looked into how Trank’s obviously souring relationship with 20th Century Fox was affecting Fantastic Four, then they would understandably be hesitant to hand the young director the keys to his own Star Wars film.
For me personally, I love what Josh Trank did in Chronicle, and most certainly was looking forward to seeing him bring that vision to the Star Wars universe. It is also quite clear that his Fantastic Four is a box office failure, critically speaking as it’s too soon to speak to the monetary side, but if Fox was stepping in and changing his direction, then is Trank really to blame?
I hope this doesn’t spell the end for Josh Trank making amazing films, using his visionary direction. And, I hope we can see him rise from this, despite all the negativity surrounding his latest film. As for 20th Century Fox, they are still planning on moving forward with a second Fantastic Four film despite reports estimating that this reboot may cost the company $60 million. There is one caveat however, Trank will no longer be attached. But, whoever takes his place, will have to deal with Trank’s vision for the first film, which means his legacy will live on…at least for one more film.