The troubles don't seem to end for Josh Trank. After the mixed review generated by his latest feature Capone, the filmmaker found himself being relentlessly trolled on social media for his movie. Trank fired back at his critics but soon quit social media altogether. He recently made a brief return to the medium to apologize for his angry remarks to some of his online critics, and currently seems to have disappeared from Twitter and Instagram once again.

"Just back for a second to apologize for overreacting to a few accounts that trolled me on IG. Over years of being railed on these platforms for my movies and opinions, I've responded impulsively, more than once. That's on me."
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"Online harassment can be a frustrating experience, especially in a cynical space where the majority of users are cloaked in anonymity. While you feel compelled to respond to personal comments in equal measure, the results are never on your side. Best to take it in stride, though it's not easy. I think I a LOT of people can relate to this."

Trank's history with online trolls has been a long and tumultuous one. After shooting into the spotlight as the youngest director with a number one hit at the box office with Chronicle, Trank's career seemed set.

For his next project, Josh Trank choose the 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four, in which he decided to give the role of traditionally white superhero Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch to black actor Michael B. Jordan. Immediately, a section of the comic book community was outraged and proceeded to chew Trank out on social media. Things got so bad the filmmaker revealed in a recent interview that he was forced to purchase a gun and kept it in his nightstand while he slept.

"I was getting threats on IMDb message boards saying they were going to shoot me. I was so fucking paranoid during that shoot. If someone came into my house, I would have ended their fucking life. When you're in a headspace where people want to get you, you think, 'I'm going to defend myself.'"

The trolling increased after Fantastic Four was released and bombed at the box office and with critics. Trank took the failure hard, blaming Fox for screwing up his personal vision for the film, and not working on another movie for years.

Finally, after five years of self-isolation, Trank reemerged to present the world with a daring new biopic on Al Capone titled Capone, featuring Tom Hardy in the lead role. The film was deeply divisive, with many critics feeling the script spent too much time focussing on the grimier aspects of Capone's battle with syphilis and dementia in his final days instead of adding any new insight into the character of the legendary gangster.

Trank has mentioned in the past that he is happy the movie drew such strong condemnation from certain quarters because it meant people were really engaging with the more difficult parts of the story. But his long battle with online trolls, who are much more brutal in sharing their opinions on the film, and Trank's career in general, appears to have exhausted the filmmaker's emotional limits. Hopefully, a few days away from any form of social media interaction will allow Trank to come back to his work in a healthier frame of mind. This news originated at ComicBook.com

Neeraj Chand