Anticipation for this December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is at an all-time high, as evidenced by the film’s ticket pre-sale figures. However, during the summer, the discussion surrounding the spinoff film was far less enthusiastic, as new headlines about its now-infamous reshoots came out seemingly on a daily basis. Though those close to the production maintained that the pickups were always part of the plan and nothing out of the ordinary, the bevy of rumors painted a very muddled picture that concerned some fans.
During the reshoots, Lucasfilm brought Bourne franchise writer Tony Gilroy on board to pen “additional material” to help fine-tune the narrative as the studio looked to get it all right. Other reports suggested Gilroy even did some directing for the second wave of production, implying that his involvement with Rogue One was more substantial than some script doctoring. Regardless of Gilroy’s capacity on the film, he walked away with quite a handsome payday.
According to THR, the Oscar-nominee netted $5 million for his time in a galaxy far, far away. Per their sources, Gilroy first joined Rogue One in June to write new dialogue and scenes for the pickups, initially bringing in $200,000 a week. As the reshoots became more expansive (including fixing the ending), Gilroy became an integral part of the recently completed post-production process, eventually sliding into a “leading role” alongside director Gareth Edwards. It’s worth pointing out that Edwards and Gilroy have collaborated before on 2014’s Godzilla, and they are comfortable and familiar with each other. Gilroy also has a long history with Frank Marshall, husband to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, so he’s a trusted voice for key members of the Rogue One team.
By now, the full Rogue One marketing campaign has quelled the fears moviegoers originally had about the reshoots, but this new information might come across as startling. Still, it’s better that Lucasfilm took the opportunity to correct some of the problems the first cut might have had instead moving forward with something that wasn’t up to par. There’s a great deal of pressure on Rogue One to perform well, especially since Kennedy is contemplating a Star Wars future that consists exclusively of standalone spinoffs. The first one out of the gates has to be a high-quality hit, or else that plan could be kaput. Given all the money Disney has invested in Star Wars, they have every reason to open up the checkbook if it means delivering a better product.
Fortunately for viewers, it won’t be long now until reactions to Rogue One make their way online. Lucasfilm will hold the world premiere on Saturday, December 10, and following the screening, there will most likely be several on social media offering their 140-character reviews. Then, it will be revealed if all the hoopla concerning the reshoots was reason to worry or no big deal. Disney’s 2016 is one of the best years any movie studio has ever had, so hopefully it can close out with another memorable blockbuster.