Filming has just commenced for A Star Wars Story: Rogue One, formally titled Star Wars Anthology. The film, the first of many planned spinoffs taking place in Star Wars canon, is set in between the events of Episode III and Episode IV and will focus on a group of Rebel fighters who go on a daring mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.
At the D23 Expo on Saturday, director Gareth Edwards couldn’t reveal too much about the film because it is early in the production phase, but he was able to reveal the very first look at the movie’s cast, the group of rebel fighters, which will be lead by Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything).
The filmmakers have assembled a stellar cast, including Felicity Jones, Diego Luna (Milk, Killing Them Softly), Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Blade II), Jiang Wen (Let The Bullets Fly, Devils on the Doorstep), Forest Whitaker (The Butler), and Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Four Lions), who have all been confirmed for the film. But Rogue One will also be making some major additions. Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Casino Royale) will also join the cast in an unknown role, as well as Alan Tudyk (Firefly).
â€œâ€˜Rogue Oneâ€™ takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe,â€ says Kathleen Kennedy. â€œIt goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and Iâ€™m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast heâ€™s selected for â€˜Rogue One.â€™â€
To help with the visual effects of the film, Edwards chose Greig Fraser (Zero Dark Thirty) to be his director of photography and Neil Corbould (Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan) to be his special effects supervisor. Remember, Rogue One is going for a Black Hawk Down and Zero Dark Thirty feel, so it should be grittier story, one that is more focused on telling the side of the Rebel Fighters as opposed to the Jedi.
A Star Wars Story: Rogue One is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and is slated for a December 16, 2016 release.