Yesterday, word spread that the Star Wars: Rogue One band was getting back together for a month's worth of additional shooting (and/or reshoots).
This led to the usual round of tedious conversations about what reshoots and additional shooting "mean" and whether or not Star Wars: Rogue One was "in trouble" - the conversations we're always subjected to whenever a big-ass movie goes back to the lab - but in this case there was an interesting wrinkle: this time, there actually seemed to be some validity to the rumors.
Well, The Hollywood Reporter did some digging on that, and came up with some interesting tidbits of information. For one thing:
(Additional shooting) is happening after execs screened the film and felt it was tonally off with what a “classic” Star Wars movie should feel like. The pic has not yet been tested before audiences, but one source describes the cut as having the feel of a war movie.
The goal of the reshoots will be to lighten the mood, bring some levity into the story and restore a sense of fun to the adventure.
Borys Kit, who ran this post, has as reliable a track record as you're likely to find in this business, so let's go ahead and assume the above is legit. It would certainly explain why we heard the "test screenings" (translation: an early screening for execs) hadn't gone over well. And the following quote - from The Hollywood Reporter's same, unnamed source - further explains why the studio is so determined to get Rogue One's tone just right:
“This is the closest thing to a prequel ever,” a source tells THR. “This takes place just before A New Hope and leads up to the 10 minutes before that classic film begins. You have to match the tone!”
This is the first non-trilogy Star Wars film, so of course Disney's going to be a little gun-shy about things like mood and tone. If Edwards' first cut did, in fact, feel like "a war movie", I think it's totally understandable why they'd want to leaven that by incorporating some of the fun this franchise is known for.
This is all encouraging news, as far as I'm concerned. When these rumors first began to circulate, the fear was that the film was just flat-out bad, and that sort of thing's a lot harder to fix than, say, lightening the mood with a little more adventure and levity. Maybe a day will come when a darker, more adult Star Wars film feels like less of a risk, but for now it seems reasonable that the studio would want to keep things feeling of a piece with one another.
What do you guys think? Would you prefer something (sigh) grittier and darker in comparison to the average Star Wars film, or are you fine with the above approach? Sound off below.