It seems to be the story of the year in Hollywood, what is happening with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Late this summer it was revealed that the film was facing extensive reshoots, not uncommon for big budget films nowadays (in fact most productions schedule it in specifically, Marvel especially) but this time rumours swirled that director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) wasn’t leading them. Numerous sources claimed writer/director Tony Gilroy (Bourne Legacy) was the man calling the shots for the reshoot. It appeared Disney were real concerned that the film had become too dark and lost the lightness of touch that so enamoured audiences to Force Awakens. I even heard rumours of a sequence featuring Darth Vader decimating a room full of Rebels was incredibly intense and needed to be cut down. Even though Lucasfilm have made clear that the anthology films would seek out a slightly different tone to the central numbered movies, it seemed like they may have lost their nerve.
Edwards and his team countered that with a rousing appearance at this years Star Wars Celebration in London, avoiding talk of the reshoots and debuting a terrific new trailer. A version of which was released a few weeks ago. It appears this was either damage control or that genuinely nothing was wrong.
However due to the nature of the extensive reshoots delaying the final cut of the film has resulted in composer Alexandre Desplat (Godzilla, Harry Potter) leaving the film due to scheduling issues. He has been replaced with soundtrack extraordinaire Michael Giacchino (Lost, Star Trek, Up) which I’m ecstatic about. Pretty much the successor to John Williams, Giacchino composes thrilling, emotional and catchy scores. I recommend his 13 min monster movie homage Roar that featured in Cloverfield, it is breathtaking. I’m a fan of Desplat, but it was inevitable Giacchino would be involved in Star Wars at some point. The fact he’s scored all of JJ Abrams’s films barring SW means his name was bandied about when Williams hinted he could leave the franchise after VII (he will be back for VIII however).
This will only add to the incessant rumours surrounding the film and its apparent troubles. Personally I’m under the impression that this is all smoke with no fire. Disney are known to be very hands on, testing frequently, reshooting and tightening up close to release and determined to mine as much audience pleasing moments as possible. It is something they’ve done with all of the Marvel films and how many of those ended up bad as a result of this. Lucasfilm also has a Kevin Feige figure in Kathleen Kennedy. A whipsmart hands on producer who will always be committed to delivering the best film possible. She has produced all of Spielberg’s films after all.
So don’t fret, watch that amazing trailer again and prepare for another exciting leap into the world of Star Wars, now with added musical brilliance.
Rogue One opens December 17th!!