As fans await the December 2016 premiere of the first live-action Star Wars spinoff movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the film was recently hit with controversy surrounding its reshoots. In the wake of rumors detailing panicked Disney executives fretting after test screenings gone wrong (which have since been debunked), the pickups have been subject to an endless stream of speculation crafting a muddled picture. Lucasfilm sources have provided their own account to the media, but that hasn’t quelled the various theories circulating around the Internet.
For their part, the Rogue One team is proceeding as normal, as the reshoots have always been part of the plan (as they are on every major tentpole). There’s no telling what the studio’s opinion of the rough cut is at this juncture, but if comments from Rogue One star Mads Mikkelsen are anything to go by, viewers have nothing to worry about.
In an interview with The Independent, the actor joked that the flurry of reshoot reports has acted as “free publicity” for Rogue One. Offering his take on the situation, Mikkelsen used his experience on past blockbuster films to illustrate how this practice is commonplace within the industry:
“Basically, all the big films I have done always have reshoots, it is part of their budget. They’re either not super happy with a scene bit, the way we were acting, or maybe there’s something they want to add. It’s not a new thing, it happens with every film. Whether it’s bigger or less, I have no idea, I have nothing to compare with. It’s the same film, it’s just adding little bits here and there to do the final polishing. That’s my feeling.”
Mikkelsen saying “it’s the same film” will definitely be comforting for the moviegoers hoping Rogue One offers a different kind of experience within the Star Wars galaxy. At last year’s Celebration event, Gareth Edwards made public his intentions to helm a war drama that was unlike the traditional space opera feel of the numbered saga episodes. Rogue One‘s teaser trailer certainly hinted at a darker tone – a story where a group of scrappy (and potentially morally ambiguous) Rebels must go against the ruthlessness of the Galactic Empire. The variation that the anthology films provide can go a long way in ensuring the longterm prospects of the franchise, so it’s important each one is unique and isn’t more of the same.
There has been much discussion regarding how extensive the Rogue One reshoots will be, with some reports indicating that half of the film has to be redone. According to Lucasfilm, the plan is for them to be wrapped prior to Star Wars Celebration 2016 in July, suggesting they aren’t very drastic. In his interview, Mikkelsen said he’d be involved with the pickups for “one day” in a couple of weeks, lending credence to the studio’s statement. It’s unknown how large Mikkelsen’s role is, but if Edwards was reshooting a significant portion of the film, the actor would most likely be on set for more than a single day. “Little bits” seem to be the primary focus.
Since Rogue One is a Star Wars film and one of the most anticipated projects of the year, there was more attention thrust onto its reshoots when compared to other movies. Now that the dust has settled after the initial wave, the consensus appears to be Rogue One isn’t in any major trouble, and it will arrive in theaters this holiday season as scheduled. Obviously, those closest to the production (Mikkelsen and Lucasfilm employees) aren’t going to spread fear publicly ahead of its release, but chances are Rogue One is another solid installment in the Star Wars series, and a great kickoff to the standalone series.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: The Independent