Setback for future ‘Star Wars’ movie as director Josh Trank pulls out

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One film among of a batch of new “Star Wars” movies in the pipeline has suffered a setback after director Josh Trank pulled out.

Trank, 30, was supposed to direct the second film in the “Star Wars” anthology, a spinoff series.

The official website StarWars.com announced Friday that Trank, the director of the 2012 sci-fi hit “Chronicle,” had decided to jump ship.

“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,” Trank said in the statement. “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.”

According to the Hollywood Reporter, however, Trank was fired from the film.

The anthology series is different from the new “Star Wars” movie that’s set to come out later this year. That film, “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens,” directed by J.J. Abrams, is set after the events depicted in “Return of the Jedi.” The movie comes out December 18.

But the first anthology movie, “Star Wars: Rogue One,” will take place between “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” and “Episode IV: A New Hope” (known to many as the first “Star Wars” movie from 1977).

“Rogue One” is about a group of rebels that goes on a rogue mission to steal plans for the Death Star. The movie is directed by Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla”), stars Felicity Jones and is expected to come out next year.

Trank was due to direct the next movie in the series. Disney didn’t announce a new director, saying only that “the Star Wars team is continuing to develop the project.”

The director’s reboot of “Fantastic Four” is due in theaters August 7.

By Jethro Mullen

CNN’s Henry Hanks contributed to this report.