Earlier this week, Page Six created a minor stir when it reported that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story might be in some trouble and headed towards expensive reshoots. While some were quick to point out that reshoots are a normal part of every major blockbuster, Page Six claimed that these reshoots were in response to a negative opinion from both Disney executives and test screenings.
The following day, THR reported that while the film had not been put into test screenings (it’s also unlikely that the film or any future Star Wars movie will ever be test screened for general audiences; they’re just too high profile), executives felt that the movie was tonally off and wanted it to be more in line with the classic Star Wars pictures rather than a war film.
Earlier today, the rumor mill churned again by saying that Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation director Christopher McQuarrie, who did some rewrite work on Rogue One, was taking over reshoots. He vehemently denied those rumors saying:
“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.”
So where does the movie stand with regards to its reshoots? EW has chimed in and it sounds like they’re working overtime to reassure any doubters. In their story, they confirm that reshoots are happening and 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.”
What do these reshoots entail? EW reports:
In what may reassure fans, reshoots were scheduled for the film before even a single scene was shot. It’s standard practice now for large-scale films to build in additional weeks of shooting so filmmakers can tweak a movie after the first assembly cut.
Those reshoots were originally planned for the spring, but were bumped to mid-summer to allow for extra time as director Gareth Edwards and the creative team decided what they wanted to alter. “The changes have everything to do with clarity and character development and all take place [as inserts] within scenes we’ve already shot,” said one source on the project.
In other words, they changes involve more intimate moments – not redoing entire battle sequences or plot lines. “It’s a lot of talking in cockpits,” as one insider described the new footage.
EW also points out that the reason the reshoots are taking so long is because this is an ensemble cast, and it’s been tricky trying to re-gather them all for the production schedule.
Additionally, while McQuarrie isn’t involved with these reshoots, there is another collaborator coming on board. Michael Clayton writer-director Tony Gilroy “was brought aboard the project in the spring to offer notes on the first cut and write some additional material to enhance the story.” Now he’ll be writing new dialogue and also serving as second unit director. Gilroy previously did some uncredited re-write work on director Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla.
For those concerned about the tone, EW says that this will indeed be a war film. “The movie is very different than [The Force Awakens], and that’s intentional,” one source says.
So are your fears about Rogue One allayed, or does it sound like we’ve been sucked into some spin that’s trying to fend off some bad buzz? Personally, I’m willing to give the production and Edwards the benefit of the doubt because I like Godzilla and I’m rooting for Rogue One to expand our definition of what a Star Wars movie can be.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens December 16th.