The upcoming Star Wars spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been making some headlines of late, as fans follow the latest developments concerning the movie's summer reshoots. There have been a flurry of reports concerning the pickups, ranging from the reasoning for them to just how extensive they will be. The initial rumors detailing an alleged test screening gone wrong seem to have been debunked, but some moviegoers have nonetheless become somewhat nervous about what the future has in store for the first standalone anthology film in a galaxy far, far away.
If there is a silver lining here, it's that reshoots are commonplace in the industry and happen on just about every tentpole film these days (including this summer's Suicide Squad). Still, viewers have been eager for more details about what's going on, since the current picture is a bit muddled. While Lucasfilm hasn't released an official statement about all the speculation, some sources from within the studio are now attempting to clear the air.
EW spoke with "high level sources" at Lucasfilm to try to gain an understanding of what's happening with Rogue One. As one might expect, their version of the story should put the most worried minds at ease. The reshoots were always part of the plan and originally scheduled for the spring before being pushed back to summer. Contrary to the rumors that the shooting period will last eight weeks, EW is claiming that director Gareth Edwards and crew will be working for four or five weeks, and finish a few days before Star Wars Celebration 2016 in London.
One of the more troubling reports about Rogue One was that the team was going to reshoot around 40 percent of the final product, which is a sizable portion of a movie. Thankfully, that figure seems to have been greatly exaggerated. One source said, “The changes have everything to do with clarity and character development and all take place [as inserts] within scenes we’ve already shot.” The goal is to have the picture locked in August, which would not be the case if they had to redo so much of the film. Where it stands now, most of the new scenes constitutes of "a lot of talking in cockpits," and Rogue One remains on track for its December 2016 premiere. From the sound of it, the biggest challenge is getting the cast back together, as many of them are off working on other projects.
Oscar winner Christopher McQuarrie was said to be taking part in the reshoots, before the filmmaker denied those rumors. While McQuarrie won't be on set, Edwards will still have some help. EW is reporting that veteran Bourne scribe Tony Gilroy joined Rogue One in the spring to look over the first cut and write "additional material" to improve upon the narrative. It's a role similar to the one Gilroy had on Edwards' Godzilla in 2014. Gilroy will be working as a second unit director during the reshoots. Gilroy has a long history with Frank Marshall, husband to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Apparently, Kennedy and the famed Lucasfilm story group trust Gilroy and have invited him to consult on other Star Wars films.
As people try to pinpoint the cause for the reshoots, some have suggested that Lucasfilm is attempting to lighten Rogue One's tone so it fits more in line with the main saga movies. EW's sources say that isn't the case, telling the outlet, "the movie is very different from The Force Awakens, and that's intentional." Those excited about the prospect of a gritty war drama set in the Star Wars universe will be pleased to hear that, as there were concerns about Disney watering down Edwards' vision. The appeal of the anthology films is that they have the freedom to be different kinds of movies and play with other genres, as opposed to sticking to the classic space opera feel of the numbered episodes.
Understandably, the number of reports about Rogue One's reshoots were alarming to those following the project, but this latest update should calm some people down. It appears that everything has been blown out of proportion, and the process is moving along normally. No doubt, there will be plenty of eyes on Celebration to see what Edwards brings for his panel. People will allegedly "go insane" when they see what the filmmakers have up their sleeves, so hopefully the second trailer can illustrate why viewers should be excited again.
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.