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Who Should Replace Josh Trank as Director of the Second Standalone 'Star Wars' Film?

By Brian Byrd | Trade News | May 2, 2015 | Comments ()

By Brian Byrd | Trade News | May 2, 2015 |


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Last night, in typical “dump embarrassing garbage just as the East Coast leaves work for the weekend” fashion, Fantastic Four director Josh Trank announced that he will no longer direct an upcoming Star Wars anthology film for Disney. He was hired to helm the second standalone film (following Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars: Rogue One, set to premiere in December 2016) scheduled for release in 2017.

The news, rumored for weeks, intensified after Trank didn’t appear at his scheduled Star Wars Celebration event last month. Initial reports chalked his absence up to a bad case of the flu, but multiple sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the studio asked Trank not to attend while they decided whether to keep him onboard.

Trank’s official statement on StarWars.com makes it seem as though he left to pursue what he calls “some original creative opportunities.” If it sounds strange that a 30-year-old director with just two films under his belt would voluntarily walk away from the most successful film franchise in history, you’re not alone. According to THR, troubles on the Fantastic Four set — Trank’s dogs causing $100,000 in damage to a rented house, costly reshoots, indecisive direction — resulted in F4 producer Simon Kinberg (who’s also producing the second Star Wars spinoff) voicing concerns to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. A few months later, Trank gets the urge to take on a different project.

But it’s probably just a coincidence.
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Regardless, Disney needs a new director. Since they’ve done a terrible job finding capable talent to helm their most important properties — JJ Abrams, Gareth Edwards, Joss Whedon, James Gunn, Kenneth Branagh, Jon Favreau: all disasters — we thought we’d do our part to help.

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Duncan Jones
Moon proved David Bowie’s kid understands that interesting ideas form the bedrock of smart science fiction. Source Code proved larger budgets don’t necessarily need to stifle those interesting ideas. With Warcraft already in post-production and nothing else on the schedule, Jones has the talent and availability to step in immediately.

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Michelle MacLaren
Well, she’s certainly available. The former Wonder Woman director has had her name on some of the best episodes of the best television shows (Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones) of the last five years and is more than ready to take on a franchise. GIVE THIS WOMAN A JOB, FOR GOD SAKE PEOPLE! AND THEN LET HER KEEP IT FOR MORE THAN A MONTH!

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Chad Stahelski & David Leitch
Star Wars films aren’t short on action. And these guys can shoot some action. Have you seen John Wick? If not, stop here and find yourself a copy. Or at least watch this. Can’t imagine how much fun these two could have with the Star Wars universe.

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Matt Reeves
Why the hell isn’t Reeves attached to a huge comic book property by now? All the guy has done in the last seven years is direct what might be the most entertaining found-footage movie ever (Cloverfield), turn what could have been a pointless remake in a smart, scary coming-of-age tale (Let Me In), and spearhead a big-budget tentpole sequel that somehow improved on the already impressive original (last summer’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ). If that’s not enough to be considered for a Star Wars gig, Disney might as well pull the plug altogether.

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Katherine Bigelow
Everyone seems to forget about Zero Dark Thirty when discussing the best movies of the last decade. Pointless political controversy torpedoed the film’s awards chances, but its combination of brains, character and action should have Bigelow atop every studio honcho’s franchise director wish list. If for some reason you’re worried about her action chops — AND YOU OBVIOUSLY SHOULD BE BECAUSE SHE’S A WOMAN, DUR! — check out ZDT’s Abbottabad raid scene. Then change your undies.


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