Gareth Edwards Explains Rogue One's Extensive Reshoots

Star Wars: Rogue One IMAX Poster (cropped)

In one week, Star Wars fans will have the opportunity to decide their opinion on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The first of many standalone movies set in the Star Wars universe has been the source of many rumors with regard to extensive reshoots and Disney reportedly being unhappy with the film, leading the studio to bring in acclaimed writer-director Tony Gilroy to take the helm as it were  from director Gareth Edwards, in terms of handling the reshot material.

Edwards was a surprising pick to helm the first Star Wars anthology film, given that, as a director, his only big studio movie prior to Rogue One was Godzilla. But with that and his previous film, Monsters, Edwards has proven himself to be a filmmaker with a unique eye, which, unsurprisingly, can often come into conflict with a studio wanting to make a product that will earn as much money as possible. As such, Disney reportedly ordered extensive reshoots to address the tone of the film and to rework the ending.

When asked about the reshoots by The Los Angeles Times, Edwards told a remarkably different story, saying the reshoots were planned from the very beginning and that they were a result of the film's "documentary style" of filmmaking.

Star Wars: Rogue One - Cassian (Diego Luna), Jyn (Felicity Jones) and Bale (Jiang Wen)

Edwards' account of the reshoots is below:

“What happened was that I’d say a third of the movie or more has this embedded documentary style to it, and as a result we shot hours and hours and days and days of material. Normally when you put a film together like A-B-C-D-E and you move on. Whereas we had so many permutations, so many different ways it could be constructed, it took longer in the edit to find the exact version.

We’d always planned to do a pickup shoot but we needed a lot of time to figure out all the material and get the best out of it. So they pushed the entire schedule in a big way. Then Disney saw the film and reacted well and they said, “Whatever you need, we’re going to support you.” Our visual-effects shot count went from 600 to nearly 1,700, so suddenly we could do absolutely anything we wanted. To design 1,000 visual effects shots should take a year, so it was all hands to the pump and we never came up for air really until about a week ago.”

Edwards' account is definitely more in the spirit of everyone trying to make the best product possible, rather than a studio demanding reshoots. It also sounds as though he was given a tremendous amount of freedom in terms of bringing his own style to the production -- a style that may have been far more loose than your typical potentially billion-dollar-grossing blockbuster is known to have. In addition, the idea that the visual effects shot total nearly tripled is also a fascinating indication of how the movie was constructed.

At any rate, it's almost time for fans to see the finished product for themselves. And that sort of judgment will be far more telling of just how successful Rogue One: A Star Wars Story really is.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Key Release Dates
  • Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
  • Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
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