Credit: Alan Markfield

Man, this is one crowded galaxy …

While J.J. Abrams toils at Episode VII, launching a whole new trilogy of Star Wars films set three decades after the fall of the Empire and Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi, two other spin-off movies are also in the works.

High-level sources have previously told EW that one will be a story about young Han Solo, while the other will focus on the bounty hunter Boba Fett. Godzilla filmmaker Gareth Edwards is directing one, and now we know who will be handling the other — Chronicle director Josh Trank

We just don’t know who is doing which — or if the deal has been altered further, and we’ll be getting stories from totally new characters in the Star Wars universe.

What we do know: Edwards will be doing the first one, due in theater Dec. 16, 2016, and scripted by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli).

Trank will be busy for the foreseeable future tackling a new version of The Fantastic Four, starring Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell. That film hits theaters June 19th, 2015, and it seems unlikely Trank will be around for a sequel. His work on the next Star Wars spin-off would most likely begin right away, although no release date has been set.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Josh into the family,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “He is such an incredible talent and has a great imagination and sense of innovation. That makes him perfectly suited to Star Wars, and for this new slate of movies that reach beyond the core characters and storylines of Episodes I through IX.”

Trank made his breakthrough with the 2012 directorial debut Chronicle, a found-footage take on the superhero genre that was notable for its gritty realism — even though it involved superpowered high school kids. The tale was dark and refreshing, and immediately launched Trank into the echelons of directors being sought for some of Hollywood’s biggest genre projects. He is adept at showing the dark side of good guys, and vice versa.

As Trank steps into the world of big-screen Star Wars storytelling, he noted that this is the kind of thing kids from his generation once could do only with toys in the backyard.

“The magic of the Star Wars Universe defined my entire childhood,” Trank said in a statement. “The opportunity to expand on that experience for future generations is the most incredible dream of all time.”

For more Star Wars news:

Fantastic Four
2015 movie
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