Josh Trank to Direct 'Star Wars' Stand-Alone Film

Josh Trank Directing Chronicle - H 2014
<p>Josh Trank Directing Chronicle - H 2014</p>   |   REX USA
UPDATED: The "Chronicle" director is currently helming the "Fantastic Four" film for Fox.

Chronicle helmer Josh Trank will direct a Star Wars stand-alone film, Disney and Lucasfilm announced Wednesday.

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"We’re thrilled to welcome Josh into the family," said 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.”

After Disney acquired Lucasfilm in a $4.05 billion transaction in 2012, the studio announced that it would launch a new trilogy, plus spinoff films. In late May, THR exclusively reported that Godzilla helmer Gareth Edwards would direct the first stand-alone film, with a screenplay by Gary Whitta. The film is due out Dec. 16, 2016.

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Due to the high level of secrecy surrounding the Star Wars development process, it is unclear which spinoffs Edwards and Trank will tackle.

Speculation has focused on characters such as bounty hunter Boba Fett and Jedi master Yoda as those who might be getting their own movies. There are also rumors of a potential Han Solo origin story — or at least something on the Solo clan — and the untold adventures of Luke Skywalker.

J.J. Abrams is currently directing the first new Star Wars film in the trilogy. Star Wars: Episode VII will star Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley as well as returning stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o and Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie were recently added to the cast as well.

Trank, who made his directorial debut with the 2012 sci-fi hit Chronicle, is currently at work on The Fantastic Four for 20th Century Fox. He's repped by WME, Management 360 and Stone Meyer.

"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," said Trank in a statement.

Email: Rebecca.Ford@THR.com
Twitter: @Beccamford