Director Announced for “Star Wars” Spin-Off as JJ Abrams Responds to “Episode VII” Set Leaks

Josh Trank will direct one of the planned stand-alone "Star Wars" films.

Lucasfilm announced Wednesday that the 30-year-old filmmaker will helm one of the two announced "Star Wars" spin-offs being made outside of the third trilogy. An earlier announced spin-off is to be led by "Godzilla" director Gareth Edwards.

Trank is the director of 2012's found footage-style science fiction thriller "Chronicle." He currently is working on "The Fantastic Four," the superhero team-up reboot scheduled for release next year.

This latest piece of "Star Wars" news landed the same day "Episode VII" director J.J. Abrams took to social media to address recent picture leaks via website TMZ from the film's location and studio sets that appear to show an under-construction prop resembling the MIllennium Falcon spacecraft from the original trilogy.

Lupita Nyong'o Named to "Star Wars: Episode VII" Cast

On his Bad Robot Twitter and Instagram feeds, Abrams posted an image of a handwritten note saying: "I wish people would stop leaking photos from Episode VII. And making ridiculous claims that the Millennium Falcon is in the movie."

It appears to be Abrams light-hearted way of saying the Millennium Falcon will indeed feature in "Episode VII." For non-"Star Wars" die-hards, the checkered piece of metal in the background of Abrams' note is the hologram chess board from the Millennium Falcon that appeared in the original "Star Wars" film released in 1977.

Lucasfilm has not released details on the subject of "Star Wars: Episode VII," other than it will follow "The Return of the Jedi" in chronology and feature original franchise cast members Luke Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford.

"Star Wars: Episode VII" will be released on December 18, 2015.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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