I’m really excited for the new Star Wars film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story after seeing the news of early reactions being positive. Though, there is a part of me urging to show restraint with my excitement as the film went through some major reshoots and normally, reshoots that take place in a film are not a good thing. Consider Suicide Squad as a recent example (shudder).
However, some of these reshoots are not without good reason, as director Gareth Edwards discussed in an interview with The Los Angeles Times recently:
There were a ton of reshoots. But if people want to read anything into that, I’d encourage them to read into it the guts it takes to unpick stitching rather than just try to embroider over it, to make it right. I admire [Lucasfilm President] Kathleen [Kennedy] and Gareth and the whole team for having the guts to go, ‘Let’s reopen this. Let’s do some of this again.’ I think it’s because they really care — and hopefully that’s something that shows when people see the film
So, it seems the reshoots were more about just trying to make things better rather than change the tone or fixing over something majorly wrong with the movie. Although Edwards feels that all movies have their own horror stories to tell and sometimes fans do freak out a little bit too much when they hear stories of reshoots or development struggles:
All great films have stories attached to them of how horrific they were to get made. Knowing that going in, you’re kind of expecting a bit of a war. You end up feeling like the characters in the film, that we’re trying to do this impossible task. Their pretend one is to steal the Death Star plans but the actual one is to make a great ‘Star Wars’ film.
And make a great Star Wars film is all that we ask for. But none of this still gives confidence in the need for the reshoots – especially the numerous amount he spoke of:
What happened was that I’d say a third of the movie or more has this embedded documentary style to it, and as a result we shot hours and hours and days and days of material. Normally when you put a film together it goes together like A-B-C-D-E and you move on. Whereas we had so many permutations, so many different ways it could be constructed, it took longer in the edit to find the exact version.
So, it would appear that as they edited the film they figured out better ways of patching shots and scenes together. A not unfamiliar thing in the movie making process, but very few films can afford to do reshoots just to get some better shots. It does make you question the way the director pictured it in their mind in the first place though. Though, according to Edwards, this was more the case of Disney just getting behind the final product more and offering up the potential to do some bigger budget stuff:
We’d always planned to do a pickup shoot but we needed a lot of time to figure out all this material and get the best out of it. So that pushed the entire schedule in a big way. Then Disney saw the film and reacted really well and they said, “Whatever you need, we’re going to support you.” Our visual-effects shot count went from 600 to nearly 1,700, so suddenly we could do absolutely anything we wanted. To design 1,000 visual effects shots should take a year, so it was all hands to the pump and we never came up for air really until about a week ago.
So, it doesn’t appear that there is anything we should be worried about, at least according to Edwards. They wanted more special effects shots and were lucky enough to have Disney bank roll them. I remain skeptical though. Who am I kidding, I’ll watch it anyway and think its going to be great. Yes, there were expensive reshoots, but Lucasfilm and Disney have a great track record with these and all the footage and news we have receive about the film means we should be in safe hands here.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is coming out on the 16th December. If you haven’t pre-booked your ticket already, you might need to wait for next week as tickets are going fast. What are you still doing reading this – go book already.
Last Updated: December 13, 2016