Boy the rumor mill sure turned on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story fast, didn’t it? Just a month after the first trailer for Lucasfilm’s first Star Wars standalone/anthology film wowed audiences with director Gareth Edwards’ striking vision for the pre-A New Hope-set story, word surfaced that Rogue One is heading into some reshoots this summer—possibly of a significant amount. Reshoots are par for the course for every single blockbuster nowadays, and they’re usually even built into the budget. When you get into the editing room on a $150+ million film, you may find areas of the movie that could use improvement or increased clarity, and with a major Hollywood studio at your disposal, why not take advantage of the opportunity to tighten things up?
But the rumors surrounding these reshoots took yet another turn last night, when an unfounded report claimed that Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation writer/director Christopher McQuarrie—who reportedly did some work on the Rogue One script—was “taking over” the Rogue One reshoots. This report immediately didn’t pass the sniff test when it first claimed that Lucasfilm went to J.J. Abrams to take over before moving on to McQuarrie after Abrams declined. None of this made a lick of sense, and indeed McQuarrie took the rumors head-on last night on Twitter and gave the following statement to /Film:
“If there are any reshoots on Rogue One, I’m not supervising them. For any outlet to say so is not only wrong, it’s irresponsible. Gareth Edwards is a talented filmmaker who deserves the benefit of the doubt. Making a film – let alone a Star Wars chapter – is hard enough without the internet trying to deliberately downgrade one’s years of hard work. Who does that even serve? Let him make his movie in peace.”
Edwards more than proved his talent as a filmmaker with Monsters and Godzilla, and with the latter showed that he can handle a massive blockbuster property. So I have trouble believing that he’s being pushed aside in what is most likely just a simple case of refining the vision of the film with some additional photography. Other movies that underwent reshoots, some significant, include Captain America: Civil War, World War Z, and oh yeah, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so to immediately assert that this is cause for alarm is straight up wrong. The most recent reports suggest that the reshoots have to do with the film’s tone, which makes sense—although hopefully Edwards’ “ground-level” vision for this particular Star Wars story remains intact.
McQuarrie, meanwhile, is preparing to direct the next Mission: Impossible installment, which is poised to begin filming later this year, and Rogue One is still on track to open in theaters on December 16th.