Star Wars fans were sent into a frenzy when news of reshoots for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was announced earlier this week. Rumors suggested that the additional filming would cover 40 percent of the film, altering its tone and adding a major cameo from a famous Star Wars character. But now insiders are saying fans shouldn't be so concerned.
In a report released earlier today, Entertainment Weekly's Anthony Breznican spoke to several Rogue One production insiders, who revealed what's actually going on behind the scenes of the upcoming Star Wars spinoff.
Reshoots are standard practice for major tentpole films, and Rogue One's reshoots were already on the schedule prior to production. The reshoots were initially scheduled for spring, but were reportedly moved to the summer to provide director Gareth Edwards and the creative team time to determine what they'd like to change. Thankfully, it sounds like the changes will only add depth to the film. An anonymous insider says:
“The changes have everything to do with clarity and character development and all take place [as inserts] within scenes we’ve already shot."
The film is currently slated to wrap production in August, meaning that reshoots aren't nearly as extensive as rumored. As another insider put it:
“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.”
The Tone Isn't Changing
Disney execs were rumored to have been displeased with the tone of the film, following test screenings. But there have reportedly been no test screenings of Rogue One, and only two people outside of Lucasfilm have actually seen the movie — Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger and studio chief Alan Horn. While the execs have likely provided feedback to the filmmakers, it appears rumors of a changing tone are false, or have at least been exaggerated. As one source said:
“The movie is very different than ['The Force Awakens'], and that’s intentional. It’s a war film.”
And once again, the source reiterated that making changes is commonplace:
"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."
Who's Working On The Reshoots?
Early rumors claimed writer/director Christopher McQuarrie — best known for his work on the Oscar-winning screenplay for The Usual Suspects and directing Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation — was on board to provide major script rewrites and co-direct the reshoots. But McQuarrie himself shot those rumors down via Twitter.
The filmmaker went even further in comments to /Film, stating:
"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."
However, EW revealed that filmmaker Tony Gilroy has joined the team to help with script rewrites and work as a second unit director under Edwards. Gilroy's best known for writing and directing the Oscar-nominated legal thriller Michael Clayton, in addition to his work on the Jason Bourne franchise. Gilroy also did some uncredited work on Edwards' Godzilla, so the pair have a history working together.
Getting The Rogue One Story Right
The Death Star heist is a pivotal moment in the Star Wars mythos, and it's important that Rogue One gets the story right. It seems that the production team recognizes that, and is doing everything it can to ensure the story is brought to life in the best possible way. The reshoots aren't a response to corporate oversight, and they aren't because Edwards has screwed up the film. They're a normal part of the production process, bringing more depth to the narrative and giving filmmakers additional time to perfect the film.
We expect to see some great stuff from Rogue One in the near future, especially with Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 right around the corner.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 16. What do you think of the reshoot rumors? Are you worried about the fate of the film? Let us know in the comments.