Trank was set to direct the sequel to Star Wars: Rogue One, which is slated to hit cinemas at the end of next year (16), but he has quit the project.

Announcing his shock decision on the official Star Wars website on Friday (01May15), the Chronicle director wrote, "After a year of having the incredible honor 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."

Gareth Edwards will direct the first Star Wars stand-alone movie, Rogue One.