“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” has been a battle of competing narratives. The movie is in trouble! Everything is fine! Disney is ruining Gareth Edwards‘ original, gritty dark vision! Everyone is just making the best movie they can! And one story that has been tossed around over the past few months is that Disney ordered the massive reshoots on the film when they became concerned that Edwards’ initial take for ‘Rogue One’ wasn’t going to be an easy four-quadrant sell that would bring in the kind of billions that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” did. However, to hear CEO Bob Iger tell it, they studio wasn’t expecting similar box office at all.
“We never felt it would do the level that ‘Force Awakens’ did,” Iger said on a Goldman Sachs conference call today, while he also notes, “The level of interest [in ‘Rogue One’] is as high as it was for ‘Force Awakens.’ ”
Between their own original productions, Marvel movies, and Lucasfilm‘s output so far, Disney is averaging a “hair under $800 million” worldwide with each of their films, which is a batting average that is likely making their competitors around town envious. It’s a helluva curve, and likely explains why Disney might be putting so much attention on ‘Rogue One.’
The first spinoff film from the “Star Wars” universe, Iger says that the film is “an experiment, of sorts.” However, he does seem optimistic given the cut of the film he’s recently seen.
“It’s really interesting in terms of ‘Star Wars’ storytelling,” he said. “‘Star Wars’ has only been told as a saga, and this is a moment in time … we love what we’ve seen.” And until we see it for ourselves, we’ll have to take his word for it.
As for the future of “Star Wars,” Iger has confirmed the studio is looking well past 2020 (in case anyone had any doubt).
“I had a meeting yesterday with Kathy Kennedy and we mapped out — well, we reviewed — the ‘Star Wars’ plans that we have ’til 2020,” he said. “We have movies in development for ‘Star Wars’ ’til then, and we started talking about what we’re going to do in 2021 and beyond.”