Joshua Benjamin Trank (born February 19, 1984) is an American film director. He is most well-known for directing Chronicle, and — perhaps more infamously — its follow-up Fantastic Four (2015), with each film representing his meteoric rise and subsequent fall in prominence.
Chronicle, his directorial debut, put his name on the map with an inventive take on the Found Footage genre and an ability to make an inexpensive production look like it was expensive. With the film's success, Trank had promise to be a big-time director, at varying points in time being attached to film adaptations of Shadow of the Colossus and Venom. He was ultimately chosen by producer Simon Kinberg (who produced Chronicle) to go with a reboot of the Fantastic Four film franchise, making it his second collaboration with 20th Century Fox. Kinberg also convinced Lucasfilm that he could handle one of their then-recently-announced Star Wars spin-off films (which he executive produced).
Unfortunately, things went downhill from there. Trank found himself overwhelmed by the experience of working on Fant4stic and became unresponsive or outright hostile on the set, at least according to various reports.note Trank then announced that he would choose not to direct a Star Wars movie in favor of his own, smaller projects (although some reports suggest that Kinberg threatened to end his ties to Lucasfilm if Trank wasn't dismissed, suggesting that it was a mutual, if forced, decision). Trank's superhero movie was ultimately significantly overhauled by Fox itself, but nobody was ultimately satisfied with the final product, which was critically panned and also failed at the box office. Trank distanced himself from the movie and quietly disappeared.
However, in the years since the Fant4stic debacle, Josh Trank lived up to his promise to work on smaller projects. His first new effort, Fonzo, focuses on notorious mobster Al Capone's descent into insanity in his last years of life while interred at Alcatraz, and features an All-Star Cast which includes the likes of Tom Hardy, Linda Cardellini and Kyle MacLachlan, among others. While it's unlikely that Trank will work on another big-budget movie anytime soon, it appears as though his passion for smaller movies might just win out.