There have been a lot of details regarding the Rogue One: A Story Wars Story reshoots that will take place starting this month. The initial report indicated that Disney was unhappy with the first cut of the movie from director Gareth Edwards and was followed up with details saying the tone of the movie needed to be lightened up a bit to match with the original Star Wars from 1977. Then a more worrisome rumor indicated that 40% of the film was going to be reshot with director Christopher McQuarrie overseeing the reshoots.
The Length and Timing of Reshoots
First up, Entertainment Weekly did some deep digging about what’s really going on behind the scenes. They confirm that reshoots were scheduled before cameras had even started rolling n the film, something that’s customary on blockbusters in order to have set time to complete tweaks, just in case. The reshoots would have originally been done by now, but they were bumped back to the summer to allow director Gareth Edwards some more time to figure out what they wanted to fix.
According to a couple of anonymous sources, here’s what the reshoots entail:
“The changes have everything to do with clarity and character development and all take place [as inserts] within scenes we’ve already shot. It’s a lot of talking in cockpits.”
The same report also takes this opportunity to debunk the rumor that 40% of the movie was being reshot. When asked about this detail, the sources were said to respond with “laughter and groans” with one saying:
“If we were rewriting the movie and reshooting 40 percent of movie, we would not be finishing in August. People really would be panicking – and changing the release date.”
Reportedly the time required to get the reshoots done, which is said to be four to six weeks, is due to the fact that getting the ensemble cast back together has proven to be difficult since the reshoots were pushed to the summer instead of the previously scheduled spring. Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Forest Whitaker, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn and Mads Mikkelsen all have other projects they’re working on by now, so getting them back in the studio for the summer was a challenge, and thus the reshoot schedule has been spread out over a larger period of time.
The Focus of the Reshoots
Reports have indicated that Rogue One needed some changes to make the movie a little more lighthearted to line-up more with the tone of the original movie and also The Force Awakens, but EW’s sources claim that this just isn’t so, saying, “The movie is very different than [The Force Awakens], and that’s intentional. It’s a war film.”
The Playlist called our attention to an interview with Gareth Edwards from last year that seems to indicate Disney was cool getting a movie that wasn’t just like all the rest of the Star Wars saga chapters. He told Flicks in the City:
“On ‘A New Hope,’ the good guys were really good and the bad guys were really bad. And so [‘Rogue One’] is really about a time where that black and white is more [morally] grey. Good guys are doing bad things, bad guys are doing good things. And it’s a little bit more about the nature of war and what it takes to do something important for the greater good.
What’s great about everyone at Lucasfilm and Disney is they’re encouraging [about being a bit more free, more brave]. So I think this film is going to be quite different… and you should expect the unexpected.”
So unless Disney just didn’t like how different it was, these reshoots shouldn’t be making drastic changes to the project. However, even if they are, as our own Peter Sciretta wrote earlier this week, reshoots aren’t necessarily a bad thing for a movie. One Lucasfilm source echoed those sentiments by saying:
“This is a normal part of our filmmaking process. We’re working and tweaking and making sure it’s right. This is how you build something in layers.”
Another source opted to reassure the audience by saying that Rogue One will not be a disappointment to fans, saying, “People will go insane.” However, for this being a normal part of the filmmaking process, some interesting names have been brought in to help with this part of production.
Find out who is helping on the reshoots on the next page.
Who’s Helping on the Reshoots?
While rumors first pegged Christopher McQuarrie as being involved with the reshoots, the director himself debunked that rumor. However, it has been confirmed that McQuarrie did contribute to an earlier draft of the script. Instead, the new talent brought on board to give notes for the reshoots is Tony Gilroy.
Tony Gilroy has written the scripts for every single movie in Jason Bourne franchise with the exception of the new sequel coming this summer. However, he also directed the bland and forgettable The Bourne Legacy. Despite that latter shortcoming, the writer and director of Michael Clayton has close ties with producer Frank Marshall, who happens to be the wife of Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. Gilroy also reportedly did some uncredited work on the script last summer too, so bringing him back makes sense.
Gilroy has been offering notes since this past spring after the first cut was delivered and he will “write some additional material to enhance the story.” Plus, he’ll be working as second unit director of the film, which means he’ll be responsible for taking care of establishing shots, cutaways, inserts, and stunts.
Speaking of stunts, a new story from The Hollywood Reporter indicates that stunt coordinator and second unit director Simon Crane will be working on the Rogue One reshoots. And since Tony Gilroy is already taking a position as second unit director, it’s clear Crane will be utilizing his stunt work on the project.
Crane has worked on action sequences for recent films such as Edge of Tomorrow, World War Z and this summer’s Jason Bourne. Other films with his work include Aliens, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Batman, Arnold Schwarzenegger’sTotal Recall and Saving Private Ryan.Aliens, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Batman, the original Total Recall and Saving Private Ryan.
Does this mean that the action is being beefed up? Or maybe the talk of lightening the tone means making some of the action not so deadly serious? That’s something we can’t be sure of and may never really know. But hopefully all this work will result in a good first effort for the Star Wars spin-off.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrives on December 16.
Banner Photo Credit: Lucasfilm