There was a growing concern that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was going to be in major trouble, when news broke that the film was entering reshoots and that 40% of the film would be reshot. The rumor was that Disney execs weren’t too pleased with the first cut of the film. According to those reports, there were issues with its tone and some said it looked more like a war movie than a Star Wars one – despite the film repeatedly being pitched as a ground-war film by director Gareth Edwards and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.
Now there is some truth to those rumors. Word is that the film is bringing in screenwriter Tony Gilroy to help polish the script and they are also hiring a new stunt coordinator.
More on the story below.
As we all know, it’s customary for a film like this to have reshoots. In fact, as EW says, reshoots were already on the schedule. Sources close to EW say that the film “is undergoing four to five weeks of reshoots, beginning this month and ending just days before the Star Wars Celebration fan event in London on July 15.” These reshoots were originally planned for the Spring but had been bumped up to this summer to “allow for extra time as director Gareth Edwards and the creative team decided what they wanted to alter.” These reshoots have to do more with “clarity and character development” and “all take place [as inserts] within scenes we’ve already shot,” the source said. So it’s more of the intimate moments that will most likely take place in areas like a “cockpit.” From what is being reported, these shots do not involve any of the action sequences.
But the reason why there have been reports of 40% of the film being shot is that “length of the reshoots adds up because it involves separate contributions from many different actors.” A source close to the production offers this explanation: “If we were rewriting the movie and reshooting 40 percent of movie, we would not be finishing in August. People really would be panicking – and changing the release date.” But the biggest challenge is getting the cast back together. Many of them have already moved on since principle photography was completed and are in the midst of shooting something else completely.
As far as the McQuarrie involvement in the directing process, the Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol writer and director says that it is all false. But reports say that he was involved in the rewriting process. Now Rogue One‘s script will get some additional polishing as EW says that Tony Gilroy, the writer-director of Michael Clayton, is coming in to help with some of the script issues. Gilroy has close ties to Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy‘s husband, as the two worked together on The Bourne Legacy. In addition to helping out with the script, Gilroy will also act as a second-unit director.
Since the film was officially announced in April of last year, the film has been pitched to us as a gritty war film. Concept art and trailers have shown us that Rogue One will be unlike any of the Star Wars films we’ve seen before. It appears that those issues with tone and the film resembling a war film than a Star Wars one have been over-exaggerated. A source tells EW, “The movie is very different than [The Force Awakens], and that’s intentional. It’s a war film.” So those rumors of making Rogue One more family-friendly are false, and those rumors of there being a test screening are even more false. EW says that the only two people who have seen Rogue One are Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger and studio chief Alan Horn. But their interference is minimal as the filmmaking team is just happy the “corporate bosses let them alter the schedule and make the changes.”
While reshoots would be a cause for concern, they are a normal part of the big-budget filmmaking process. However, the reports that 40% of Rogue One would be reshot frustrated the creative team.
Now that we are getting a better picture of what is being reshot, I believe that fans can breathe a sigh of relief. There is no way to stress this enough that these reshoots are just a part of the process, that we take each of these rumors with a grain of salt.
One last thing to report on… THR says stunt coordinator Simon Crane, whose credits include Aliens and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, will also assist with the lengthy reshoots. Crane is also no stranger to films with “troubled” productions as he also worked on World War Z. He recently worked on Edge of Tomorrow, which also had a gritty military feel to it.