Lucasfilm is not playing around, snatching up-and-coming directors right out of the hands of competitors even as J.J. Abrams preps the massive event film that is Star Wars Episode VII for its 2015 release.
It's been known for sometime that there will be three Star Wars standalone films released into the theaters to fill the wait in between official episodes. Han Solo, Boba Fett and an X-Wing Squad have been the rumored subjects of the solo films; so far, the studio has landed director Godzilla Gareth Edwards to helm one of the projects, and today we get word that a second solo film has a director, and it's none other than Fantastic Four reboot director, Josh Trank.
In a statement released by Lucasfilm, studio president Kathleen Kennedy and Josh Trank had the following to offer:
We’re thrilled to welcome Josh into the family," says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. "He is such an incredible talent and has a great imagination and sense of innovation. That makes him perfectly suited to Star Wars, and for this new slate of movies that reach beyond the core characters and storylines of Episodes I through IX.”
Trank states, "The magic of the Star Wars Universe defined my entire childhood. The opportunity to expand on that experience for future generations is the most incredible dream of all time."
This is another big acquisition for Lucasfilm when it comes to stacking talent behind their solo film ventures. Both Edwards and Trank cut their teeth by making compelling sci-fi films on very low budgets (Monsters and Chronicle, respectively), while also showcasing a tenacity for visual effects and creative filmmaking techniques born out of low resources and necessity. In other words: they're kind of like this guy named George in the 1970s, who made an independent sci-fi film on a limited budget using creative techniques, and ended up birthing a phenomenon. Looking at it like that, it's hard as a Star Wars fan to be mad about either of these appointments (personally speaking).
That leaves us with the question: What two films are Edwards and Trank directing?
Here's what was revealed during a recent presentation of Hasbro toy products tied to the Star Wars movies:
2014: Rebels (Cartoon Series)
2015: Episode VII
2016: Boba Fett Movie
2017: Episode VIII
2018: Han Solo Movie
2019: Episode IX
2020: Red Five Movie (X-Wing Squad)
If this chart is to be believed, it would make sense that these director announcements are following the plotted course seen above. Edwards is finishing up obligations to Godzilla and has some breathing room before its sequel to work on Boba Fett, if that is indeed his Star Wars project. Trank has to deal with Fantastic Four up through the first half of 2015, which means he would be tackling the Han Solo movie, which would presumably focus on the character's younger years. Unclear is whether or not in taking the Star Wars gig, Trank has given up his spot directing the Fantastic Four sequel slated for summer 2017.
All of this breakdown of character properties and release dates is speculation, of course - so take it with a grain of salt until something more official is confirmed.
Star Wars Rebels animated series premieres with a one-hour special this fall on Disney XD. Star Wars: Episode VII releases in theaters December 18th, 2015. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information about these possible Boba Fett, Solo, and Red Five solo films.