Reshoots are one of the luxuries afforded to directors with powerful studio backing. While in theory it may be possible to get all the footage that could possibly be needed during principal photography, the reality is that the editing process often uncovers scenes that need better coverage, or opportunities to refine or add to the rough cut of the film. Because of this, a significant number of productions end up calling back actors and crew for a few weeks of reshoots, and the latest tentpole film to undergo this process is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
News that Rogue One would be heading into at least four weeks of reshoots starting in July came amid a flurry of worrying rumors - from extreme claims that Disney was in a panic over the movie to more moderate reports that the studio simply felt Rogue One lacked the right edge for the franchise, or felt too much like a war movie (even for a movie with the word "war" in the title). There has also been speculation that the extra filming time will be designed to incorporate an appearance by Alden Ehrenreich (Hail Caesar!) as Han Solo, before he embarks on his own solo movie.
Whatever the reason(s) for the reshoots, we know that some additional talent has been recruited to help out as director Gareth Edwards returns to the set. Veteran Bourne screenwriter Tony Gilroy did some work on the script and signed on as a second unit director for the reshoots, and now THR reports that experienced stunt coordinator Simon Crane has been hired to help out as well, indicating that the reshoots may be partly dedicated to getting Rogue One's action just right.
Crane has over three decades of experience working in the film industry as both a second unit director and stunt coordinator, with his more recent credits including sci-fi action film Edge of Tomorrow and Disney fairy tale Maleficent. Edge of Tomorrow may not have blown away the box office, but it was memorable for its gimmick of showing its protagonist (played by Tom Cruise) going through the same battle scenarios over and over again, and getting a little better at surviving each time around. If Crane can bring some of that flare to Rogue One, the movie should be well-served by his involvement.
Given the amount of time allotted to the reshoots, it seems like substantial work is being done on Rogue One - for better or worse. The movie's plot will focus on a group of Rebels charged with stealing the plans for the Death Star, shortly before the events of A New Hope. Since main character Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is new to the Star Wars universe, along with most of the supporting characters, the pressure is on for Rogue One to win over audiences without really being able to lean on the Skywalker saga or the newfound popularity of Star Wars: The Force Awakens characters like Finn and Rey. We'll keep our fingers crossed that somewhere between the original shoot and the reshoots, Edwards and Disney are able to find the film that fans are hoping for.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIIIon 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.