Josh Trank

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Josh Trank
Josh Trank by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Joshua Benjamin Trank

(1984-02-19) February 19, 1984 (age 35)
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, film editor
Years active2007–present
Krystin Ver Linden
(m. 2013; div. 2017)

Joshua Benjamin Trank (born February 19, 1984)[1][2] is an American film director, screenwriter, and editor. He is known for directing the 2012 science fiction film Chronicle, the 2015 superhero film Fantastic Four, and the 2019 biographical crime film Fonzo.


During an interview with Kevin Smith on the podcast Fatman on Batman, Trank discussed the origins of his career at length. He attributed his YouTube video "Stabbing at Leia's 22nd Birthday", which became very popular overnight after its release, as a significant breakthrough point for his career. Following this, Trank worked on the 2007 Spike TV drama The Kill Point as a writer, director and editor. In 2009, Trank edited the independent film Big Fan, starring Patton Oswalt. He was also credited as a co-producer and had a small acting role in the film.

In 2011, Trank directed his first feature film, Chronicle.[3] It was released on February 3, 2012 by 20th Century Fox and has grossed over $125 million worldwide.[4] Chronicle, made for a budget of $12 million, was received positively by critics, earning an 85% score on Rotten Tomatoes.[5] With Chronicle released at the age of 27, Trank became the youngest director to open a film at number one at the US box office.[6] He is followed by Steven Spielberg (28, with Jaws) and James Cameron (30, with The Terminator).[7] After the release of Chronicle, Trank was linked to Sony's Spider-Man spin-off, Venom,[8] Warner Bros.'s The Red Star,[9] and Sony's film adaptation of the video game Shadow of the Colossus;[10] however, Trank turned down those film projects.[11][12][13]

Trank directed the 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four,[14][15] which was released in August 2015. The movie was critically panned. It received a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes[16] and a 27 out of 100 rating from Metacritic.[17] Trank became the subject of controversy when he posted and quickly deleted a message on Twitter prior to the release of the film before, apparently blaming the poor reviews on changes imposed by the studio, claiming to have originally cut a completely different movie which would've been much better.[18] Equally dissatisfied with the final film, actor Toby Kebbell, who worked with Trank on the film, supported Trank's claim.[19]

In June 2014, it was announced that Trank would direct a stand-alone Star Wars film,[20] but he left the project less than a year later. Trank indicated this was a personal decision, but several outlets stated that he was dismissed from the project due to issues during production of Fantastic Four, primarily a lack of communication with the film's producers, and that Lucasfilm had decided to pursue another director.[21] Trank told the Los Angeles Times in an interview that the reason he left the film was because he wanted to do something original and smaller-scale, due to the amount of online scrutiny he received during the filming of Fantastic Four.[22]

As reported in late October 2016, Trank wrote and will direct his original Al Capone biopic Fonzo, with Tom Hardy set to star.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Trank was born in Los Angeles and is a 2002 graduate of Beverly Hills High School. In early October 2013, he married screenwriter Krystin Ver Linden, they divorced in 2017. His father, Richard Trank, is a documentary filmmaker and Academy Award winner.[24][25]



Year Title Director Producer Writer Editor Other Notes
2009 Big Fan Yes Yes Yes Co-producer
Actor: Wrong Phil's Buddy
Second unit director (uncredited)
2012 Chronicle Yes Story Co-story writer with Max Landis
2015 Fantastic Four Yes Yes Co-screenwriter with Jeremy Slater and Simon Kinberg
2019 Fonzo Yes Yes Yes Post-production


Year Title Director Writer Editor Actor Role Notes
2007 The Kill Point Yes Yes Yes Director/Writer: 5 episodes
Editor: 2 episodes
2013 Arrested Development Yes Process Server Bum Episode: "A New Start"

Critical reception[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Chronicle 85% (177 reviews)[26] 69 (31 reviews)[27] B[28]
Fantastic Four 9% (246 reviews)[29] 27 (40 reviews)[30] C-[31]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2013 Online Film & Television Association Best Feature Debut Chronicle Nominated
2016 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Director Fantastic Four Won
Worst Screenplay
Shared with Simon Kinberg & Jeremy Slater


  1. ^ According to someone California Birth Index, 1905–1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California.
  2. ^ "'Chronicle' the No. 1 movie after a big viral push". Chicago Sun-Times. February 5, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  3. ^ "Q&A: Josh Trank, Director Of 'Chronicle' On The Origins of the Film, And More". Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  4. ^ "Chronicle's Box office".
  5. ^ "Chronicle on Rotten Tomatoes (2012)".
  6. ^ Gant, Charles (February 7, 2012). "Chronicle makes a new UK box office record". The Guardian. Retrieved May 24, 2017.
  7. ^ "Weekend Box Office (February 3 – 5, 2012)". Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  8. ^ "Chronicle's Josh Trank Looks to Spit Some Venom". Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike. "'Chronicle' Helmer Josh Trank Lands On 'The Red Star' At Warner Bros". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "Chronicle Director to Make Shadow of The Colossus Movie". Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  11. ^ Patten, Dominic (December 13, 2013). "Sony Sets Spider-Man Spinoffs 'Venom,' 'Sinister Six' With New "Franchise Brain Trust"". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 4, 2014). "Andrés Muschietti to Direct 'Shadow of the Colossus' Adaptation for Sony". Variety. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  13. ^ Wilding, Josh (September 4, 2014). "Mama Director Andrés Muschietti to Helm Video Game Adaptation Shadow of the Colossus". HeyUGuys. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  14. ^ "Comic-Con: Fox Sets Reboots Of 'Fantastic Four', 'Daredevil' (Minus David Slade), Puts Joe Cornish On 'Rust'". Deadline Hollywood. July 11, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  15. ^ "Screenrant". Screenrant. February 27, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  16. ^ "Fantastic Four (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  17. ^ "Fantastic Four". Metacritic. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  18. ^ Breznican, Anthony (August 7, 2015). "Why did Fantastic Four director Josh Trank slam his own movie? Honesty comes with a high price in Hollywood ... but what is the truth?". Entertainment Weekly.
  19. ^ Scott, Ryan. "Fantastic Four Actor Says There's a Great Cut We'll Never See". Movieweb. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  20. ^ Graser, Marc (June 4, 2014). "Josh Trank to Direct 'Star Wars' Standalone Movie".
  21. ^ "Inside a 'Star Wars' Firing: 'Fantastic Four' Problems Led to Director Josh Trank's Ouster".
  22. ^ Rottenberg, Josh (June 4, 2015). "Josh Trank sets the story straight on why he left 'Star Wars'". Los Angeles Times.
  23. ^ McNary, Dave (October 29, 2016). "AFM: Tom Hardy to Star as Al Capone in 'Fonzo'". Variety.
  24. ^ Richard Trank,
  25. ^ Reed, Becky (February 12, 2012). "Q&a: Chronicle Director Josh Trank". DIY. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  26. ^ "Chronicle (2012) – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  27. ^ "Chronicle (2012) – Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  28. ^ "Chronicle (2012) – Cinemascore". Cinemascore. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  29. ^ "Fantastic Four (2015) – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  30. ^ "Fantastic Four(2015) – Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  31. ^ "Fantastic Four (2015) – Cinemascore". Cinemascore. Retrieved May 23, 2016.

External links[edit]