As you may have heard, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is thought to be in a bit of trouble. Reports earlier this week stated that Disney higher-ups are unhappy with the current condition of the upcoming Star Wars prequel film, and have ordered reshoots. Reports have conflicted over whether the reshoots were planned in advance, whether they’re about the film’s tone or more overall dissatisfaction from studio executives, and whether the new footage will include the young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) – Disney, for their part, issued a statement that these reshoots were always expected.
The reshoot rumors have led to speculation that new footage will require additional writing. While the most recent report indicated that noted screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie will be on set with director Gareth Edwards for the reshoots, the writer is disputing that on social media.
McQuarrie, the Oscar-winning writer of The Usual Suspects who also directed Jack Reacher and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, took to Twitter to respond to the rumors:
Attn: bloggers. I'm reading some horseshit rumors tonight. You know where to find me. Do your jobs.— ChristopherMcQuarrie (@chrismcquarrie) June 3, 2016
UPDATE: McQuarrie has also issued a statement on the matter to /Film:
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.
According to a report at Making Star Wars which cited several sources, McQuarrie had written a new draft of the script during initial shooting, and while Disney was happy with the writer’s work, McQuarrie’s draft “wasn’t completed when much of the film was shot and revisions kept coming in that made the film feel uneven.” Therefore, McQuarrie would be “working extensively with Edwards onset to make sure they’re on the “same page” with the most recent draft of the film.” It would appear that McQuarrie is not disputing that he did writing work on the film previously – it was reported as far back as October 2015 that he was involved in the script – but rather the new report that he’ll be on set for the reshoots.
Should Star Wars fans be worried about the project, between the reshoots and the questions about the script? The story of the film’s writing has been tumultuous – Gary Whitta was announced as the screenwriter at the project’s outset in 2014, but left the film early the following year; Chris Weitz came in at that point, and McQuarrie was reported to have taken his own pass at the script. The final credit will likely be a matter of some interest, if not dispute.
Then again, Star Wars: The Force Awakens also lost its original screenwriter, Michael Arndt, early on, and additionally engaged in both reshoots and scheduling complications following Harrison Ford’s injury; none of that stopped the franchise revival from breaking multiple box office records or becoming one of the most beloved Star Wars film in decades. As for what’s really happening on set and at what level Christopher McQuarrie is involved, we’ll likely get some definitive answers when Edwards appears at the Star Wars Celebration next month.
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.
Update Source: /Film