By: Dominic Jones
Word got out earlier this week that four weeks of reshoots were scheduled for the upcoming film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While reshoots are extremely common for films, the reports also suggested that Disney executives were less than pleased with the film and had ordered the reshoots in order to change the tone of the film to something more along the lines of The Force Awakens (Rogue One is believed to have a grittier tone that previous Star Wars movies and has been described as a "war movie").
Today, Entertainment Weekly's Anthony Breznican did some digging to uncover what exactly is going on with the Rogue One reshoots. While official sources won't comment on rumors, Breznican's unofficial sources shed some interesting light on the rumors and should reassure fans who were concerned by the reports.
First off, the sources confirmed that these reshoots were planned before principle photography on the film even began. They also denied the reports that up to 40% of the film needed to be reshot. The source told EW, "If we were rewriting the movie and reshooting 40 percent of movie, we would not be finishing in August." Breznican also confirms that Christopher McQuarrie, one of the film's screenwriters, is not going to be supervising or collaborating with director Gareth Edwards on the reshoots (McQuarrie himself aggressively denied the rumors earlier today).
However, Breznican reports that Edwards will be joined by Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, The Bourne Legacy) for the reshoots. Gilroy apparently wrote new material for the reshoots and will direct second unit. An EW source describes the new material as having "everything to do with clarity and character development and all take place [as inserts] within scenes we’ve already shot".
This is very similar to what was done for reshoots on The Force Awakens. Director JJ Abrams spoke about this process on a recent episode of The Nerdist Podcast where he explained, "we shot nearly ten minutes of the movie (at Bad Robot Studios) and it was getting moments, getting shots, getting pieces, that were missing from the scenes when were shooting them", adding that, "it was about these incredible, critical, intimate moments".
As for the report that Disney Executives were unhappy with the tone of Rogue One, and ordered that it be shifted to be more like the tone of The Force Awakens, the sources deny these as well. According to one EW source, "The movie is very different than [The Force Awakens], and that’s intentional. It’s a war film." That quote should be very comforting for fans (myself included) who were concerned about a shift away from the "war movie" style to something that was trying to mimic The Force Awakens.
And finally, one of the sources hinted that Lucasfilm had something big in store for Star Wars Celebration Europe this July in London. A Rogue One panel with Edwards, producer Kathleen Kennedy, and "special guests" is slated to kick off the convention and the source described the expected reaction as, "People will go insane".
After a week of crazy rumors, over reactions, and conjecture, it's nice to have the reshoots clarified as best as possible. It sounds as though everything is proceeding as planned and there isn't any reason for fans to be concerned. It sounds like Celebration will also go along way to convince people who are still on the fence to get excited for this movie.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16th and stars Felicity Jones, Forest Whittaker, Donnie Yen, and Diego Luna.
Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.