Earlier this week, some troubling news emerged regarding Disney’s forthcoming Star Wars anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. On Monday night, Page Six reported that the studio’s execs balked at the initial cut of Gareth Edwards’ hotly anticipated film and called for four weeks of extensive reshoots in July. Other outlets were quick to corroborate this panic-inducing report, with one source telling The Hollywood Reporter that the goal of the reshoots will be to “lighten the mood, bring some levity into the story and restore a sense of fun to the adventure.”
With rumors of Disney going all Admiral Ackbar and commanding Edwards and crew to take evasive action, fans of Rogue One’s moody teaser trailer (like us!) are rightfully worried. But it might not be time to panic just yet, according to a new report that comes to us from fan site Making Star Wars. Jason Ward, the site’s editor-in-chief, recently did some prowling around and asked some of the film’s crew members about the reshoots. While they joked that pretty much “everything” was scheduled to be reshot, none of them seemed to be panicking all that much.
Update: “High-level sources at Lucasfilm” spoke with Entertainment Weekly and refuted Ward’s report that the crew expects to reshoot 40% of the film. Rogue One will reportedly undergo four to five weeks of reshoots, beginning this month and ending before the Star Wars Celebration fan event in London on July 15. The picture will then be locked in mid-August and scored in September. “If we were rewriting the movie and reshooting 40% of the movie, we would not be finishing in August,” a source told EW. “People really would be panicking – and changing the release date.”
The length of the reshoots is reportedly due to the challenge of reuniting the cast, many of whom have moved on to other professional involvements. As one source explained, “It is a complicated schedule trying to pull people in around other things they’re doing.”
Another apparently false rumor stated that writer Christopher McQuarrie will be working alongside Edwards on the reshoots. McQuarrie personally refuted this claim via Twitter, and EW has revealed a new collaborator: Tony Gilroy, the writer-director of Michael Clayton. Gilroy worked in a similar uncredited role on Edwards’ Godzilla (2014), consulting with the filmmaker to strengthen the script. He has also been brought on to consult on other Star Wars projects in the future.
As for the rumor that the reshoots were ordered to “lighten the mood,” EW‘s sources say that’s a bunch of bantha fodder, too. “The movie is very different than [The Force Awakens], and that’s intentional,” one source said. “It’s a war film.” Disney apparently understands that, and there has been no pressure from the studio to make the film more family friendly.
OK, so maybe Rogue One won’t be a disaster after all. Contradictory reports are emerging from every corner of the galaxy but Edwards, Disney, and the rebooted Star Wars franchise may yet emerge unscathed.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrives in theaters December 15th. Let’s hope it survives the jump through hyperspace.