The Rogue One prequel series being developed for Disney+ was in danger of being cancelled before Tony Gilroy came in to write and direct. Officially announced in November 2018, the show is one of three original Star Wars series coming to the streaming platform (alongside The Mandalorian and the untitled Obi-Wan show). It stars Diego Luna as his fan-favorite Rogue One character Cassian Andor, promising to explore the Rebel soldier's dark past that was only alluded to in the movie. Alan Tudyk is also set to return as K-2SO, and production is reportedly beginning in London next year.
Though Rogue One earned positive reviews from critics and grossed over $1 billion at the worldwide box office, many know it was a great deal of trouble to complete. Things were so bad, Gilroy was brought in to oversee extensive reshoots that retooled much of the final film, including the third act. As it turns out, this area of the franchise is a particularly tough nut for Lucasfilm to crack, since it's been revealed Gilroy was called upon to save Rogue One once again.
Collider's Steven Weintraub and Variety's Joe Otterson both shared on Twitter they heard the Rogue One show had been cancelled, apparently due to the poor quality of the scripts. But rather than scrapping it entirely, Lucasfilm opted to rework the series and hired Gilroy to call the shots. Take a look at their posts in the space below:
I'd heard the Cassian Andor series was shut down a few weeks ago & everyone working on it was sent home. Heard the story/scripts weren’t good enough. Was getting ready to write a story about what I’d been hearing & the news about Tony Gilroy hit. Wonder what day he was hired 2/2 https://t.co/aQtosuhWLW— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) October 16, 2019
That was the original tip I got. I prepped the story but then it turned out to not be the case. I rewrote accordingly but an old version of the headline got saved by mistake. It has been fixed— Joe Otterson (@JoeOtterson) October 15, 2019
The Rogue One prequel show was essentially billed as an espionage thriller in the Star Wars galaxy, which has tremendous potential to be a compelling and engaging supplement to the original trilogy. Considering how much of a sure thing that sounds on-paper, it's a little disappointing the first pass didn't deliver the intended results. However, Lucasfilm deserves credit for realizing things weren't working now and tabling the Rogue One show until they found a solution. The last thing the studio wants is another Solo situation, where the plug gets pulled when it's far too late. Lucasfilm has a lot invested in Disney+, especially since the Star Wars movies are going on hiatus for a few years after The Rise of Skywalker. They want to make sure all of their new content for the streaming series is top notch to keep fans excited about Star Wars stories during the upcoming down period.
Again, since the Rogue One prequel always sounded like a solid concept, it's nice to see Lucasfilm went in a different direction instead of scrapping it altogether. Gilroy should be a strong fit for this material. Not only is he familiar with Rogue One, his experience in the Bourne franchise will likely be quite beneficial as well. Ideally, Gilroy will be able to work his magic again and pull off another last-minute Rogue One rescue. Maybe next time, Lucasfilm could just call him first and see what ideas he has.