In an official statement posted on the film series' official site, Trank outlined his reasoning: "After a year of having the incredible honour of developing with the wonderful and talented people at Lucasfilm, I'm making a personal decision to move forward on a different path. I've put a tremendous amount of thought into this, and I know deep down in my heart that I want to pursue some original creative opportunities.
"That said, the Star Wars universe has always been one of my biggest influences, and I couldn't be more excited to witness its future alongside my millions of fellow Star Wars fans. I want to thank my friends Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart, Simon Kinberg, and everyone at Lucasfilm and Disney for the amazing opportunity to have been a part of this. May the Force be with you all."
Speculation has naturally turned to underlying possibilities, with some citing tension between Kinberg and Trank on Fantastic Four as the driving force for this change behind the scenes of the Star Wars universe. A new director will be announced soon enough for the still untitled and under wraps film, which is scheduled for release in 2018.
Fantastic Four, meanwhile, is out on 6 August.