It might be May 4th, but it seems the Force isn't currently strong with former Star Wars spin-off director, Josh Trank. Notice I said 'former'?
Trank, who most recently completed filming Fantastic Four for Fox, has announced he's stepped down as the director of one of Disney's still secret spin-off stand alone projects. In a statement released by Trank, he stated:
After a year of having the incredible honor of developing with the wonderful and talented people at Lucasfilm, I’m making a personal decision to move forward on a different path. I’ve put a tremendous amount of thought into this, and I know deep down in my heart that I want to pursue some original creative opportunities. That said, the Star Wars universe has always been one of my biggest influences, and I couldn’t be more excited to witness its future alongside my millions of fellow Star Wars fans.
Rumors regarding Trank's involvement - or lack thereof - in the franchise had begin to circulate when he failed to show up at the recent Star Wars Celebration panel in Anaheim. Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm's head of story, also released a statement thanking Trank for his involvement in the project:
It was a privilege to collaborate with Josh. We are grateful for the energy and love of Star Wars that he brought to the process, and we wish him all the best.
From the sounds of these statements - which are perhaps not always the most informative - it sounds like Trank is eager to return to the type of films which initially brought him onto the radar of the big guys. However, one also has to wonder if the rumors regarding Trank that came out of the Fantastic Four set also had a part to play.
According to The Hollywood Reporter's sources, Trank was often "erratic" and "very isolated" while directing the superhero reboot. One source explained:
No question there’s talent there. You can’t do Chronicle by accident. [But Trank seemed] 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.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Trank's "unusual conduct" on the set of Fantastic Four had "raised alarm among Lucasfilm executives that were entrusting him with the second Star Wars stand-alone film".
With Trank gone, Disney will no doubt be looking for the next auteur to handle directorial duties for the second, currently unknown, standalone film. Here are four guys I'd love to see behind the camera.
The mastermind behind the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy could be a perfect choice to direct a standalone Star Wars movie. Through films such as Hot Fuzz, The World's End and Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Wright has proven he has a unique and kinetic approach to action, while he can also bring buckets of humor to boot. Furthermore, if you've seen his seminal sitcom Spaced, you'll know the guy has an incredible love and passion for Star Wars. Check out some that below:
Disney and Marvel certainly thought he was a good choice for Ant-Man, well, that was until he walked out on that project. Unfortunately, the fact interference from Disney was cited as one of the potential reasons for his departure from Ant-Man probably means he is unlikely to be offered the job in the Star Wars franchise. Still, it's something I would love to see.
Now, I have to admit I'm biased here since I'm enamoured with Alfonso Cuarón's work, however despite this, Cuarón's resume does suggest he could be the perfect man for the job. Films such as Gravity (for which he won a Best Director Oscar) have certainly shown he was the visual ambition to pull off something like Star Wars, while his dystopian masterpiece Children of Men, gave us some of the best action and battle scenes I've ever seen.
His semi-documentary style cinematography is also relatively similar to that used by Trank in the found-footage superhero film Chronicle - suggesting he could have the style Disney are looking for in their standalone. Check out one incredible scene from Children of Men below to see what I mean:
Furthermore, Cuarón also helmed the third Harry Potter film, showing he can work well with both a big studio and an already established lore.
As one of Hollywood's up-and-coming directors, Jones has already grabbed the attention of the big studios. Most recently he was attached to the Warcraft movie, a film which went through a handful of big named directors before landing on Jones' desk. Although we've yet to see anything from this live-action adaptation, his direction of Warcraft at least proves he can handle a massive franchise with a very large and dedicated fanbase.
Furthermore, his debut feature film, Moon, showed he also could deliver a moving human story within a science-fiction environment. Oh, and his dad is David Bowie. I don't know about you, but I would love to see Bowie in a Star Wars movie, and with this guy in charge, maybe it could happen? Check out the intro scene from Moon below:
Star Wars movies have a lot of different layers, but everyone knows the cherry on the top of that particularly succulent cake are the franchise's iconic lightsaber duels.
Although the original trilogy dealt with these fights in a rather 'traditional' kind of way, the new trilogy upped the ante and now no Star Wars movie would be complete without some kind of awe-inspiring, flip-filled lightsaber battle. For that, you need good fight choreography, and if there's one thing Gareth Evans knows, it's fight choreography.
The director of The Raid and The Raid 2 could certainly deliver some of the craziest lightsaber battles we've seen yet. In fact, three of Evan's Raid and Raid 2 actors - Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman - are already rumored to be involved in Star Wars: Episode VII, suggesting Abrams may have already had the same idea. Check out one of the The Raid 2's most ambitious (and violent) fight scenes below. Imagine all that, but with lightsabers.