Last month, we reported the surprising news that director Josh Trank stepped away from the second Star Wars anthology movie, although no reason for the departure was given. Just a few weeks before that, the filmmaker was scheduled to appear at Star Wars Celebration 2015 to discuss the movie, but he pulled out at the last minute. Rumors spread soon after his official exit that he was actually fired from the project because of problems on the set of his upcoming Fantastic Four reboot. Speaking publicly for the first time since his departure, Josh Trank said that none of those reports were true.

"None of those facts were true - and any of the facts that were true were spun in such a maliciously wrong way."

He revealed that, after several months of scrutiny regarding Fantastic Four, he couldn't see himself taking on another high-profile project, and wanted to make a smaller project, adding that he still has close relationships with everyone at Lucasfilm.

"I want to do something original after this because I've been living under public scrutiny, as you've seen, for the last four years of my life. And it's not healthy for me right now in my life. I want to do something that's below the radar. I have a great relationship with everyone at Lucasfilm and with (Lucasfilm VP of development) Kiri Hart. And they all understood it because this whole experience for me has been very psychologically hard."

The director also said that he originally wasn't going to speak about his decision to leave the Star Wars Anthology: Boba Fett Movie, which has been rumored to follow both the bounty hunter Boba Fett and Han Solo, thinking that it will "blow over," but it never did, calling his decision to leave the coveted project the hardest decision he's ever had to make.

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"At first I was like, 'I'm just not going to say anything because it will blow over.' But I was shocked - it just hasn't blown over. People get so excited to raise their pitchforks. I knew that this was going to be questioned and it was going to come under skepticism as to why I left Star Wars. And it was hard. It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life."

Simon Kinberg, who is producing both Fantastic Four and the Star Wars anthology movies, spoke out in defense of the director, calling those who have spoke out against him "cruel."

"I've been around some version of this for a long time. This, I would say, is particularly cruel. I haven't really seen this level of vehemence against a filmmaker. And it's surreal and unfair."

There were also rumors of a rift between Josh Trank and Simon Kinberg, but the director, who conducted his interview together with Simon Kinberg, said this experience has made them closer friends.

"Simon and I have become closer friends through this. To have the rest of the world - other than the people who know us - think that we're in some blood feud with each other over something... It feels sometimes like I'm living in a Paddy Chayefsky script or something like that. Every misconception that could possibly be made about this has been made to a hilariously satirical degree. And it's people who haven't met me before. If they met me - I don't know, I feel like I'm a pretty harmless person."

Disney and LucasFilm have yet to announce a replacement for the Star Wars Anthology: Boba Fett Movie, which is believed to hit theaters in 2018, between Star Wars: Episode VIII in 2017 and Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019. What do you think about Josh Trank's comments? Who do you think would be the best director to replace him?