There’s basically two narratives to the “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” reshoots. There’s the cleaner, Disney friendly version which asserts that everything is just fine, and they’re just making the movie the best it can be. And then there’s the version that’s seemingly closer to the truth, and that’s becoming much clearer the more news spills out about what’s actually going on behind the scenes, and it can be summarized thusly: the studio is course correcting. This isn’t just a couple weeks of pickups; Disney is reshaping ‘Rogue One’ in a major way.
To recap, word emerged this week that Disney execs were unhappy with an early cut of ‘Rogue One,’ one that has been described as having a tone similar to that of a “war movie.” The chatter intensified when reports emerged that as much as 40% of the movie was going to be reshot. And as the week ended, it was revealed that Tony Gilroy (“Michael Clayton,” “The Bourne Legacy“) has not only stepped in to help with rewrites, but was supervising the reshoots. Well, not only has his role intensified, another filmmaker is stepping in as well.
THR reports that veteran stunt coordinator and second unit director Simon Crane (“Edge Of Tomorrow,” “World War Z,” “Titanic“) will be assisting with the ‘Rogue One’ reshoots, and confirms, as we suggested yesterday, Gilroy will be behind the camera during additional filming as well. The math isn’t difficult: that’s two filmmakers assisting on reshoots for ‘Rogue One,’ and that should be a pretty significant indication of just how much work they are doing on the movie, in what will be six weeks of shooting. And it certainly opens up a question mark about Gareth Edwards, and how his role might have changed as the production on the movie shifts gears and aims to be completed for release later this year.
So why is Disney essentially turning the ship around? The trade suggests what many have been saying all along over the past few days — the studio wants a four-quadrant, billion dollar plus hit, not a niche, genre driven “Star Wars” movie. It’s a bummer, but maybe not a surprise when a franchise is responsible for carrying revenue streams beyond the box office into toy sales, theme park attractions and more.
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opens on December 16th.