Up until a few weeks ago, Disney had been remarkably successful in maintaining message control about the Star Wars franchise. From the day the House of Mouse snapped up Lucasfilm in 2012 right through the mega-success of The Force Awakens, virtually all one heard about the galaxy far, far away was either good news or no news. But their grip is loosening ever so slightly: First came the leaked character and vehicle information for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and now, more disconcertingly, “Page Six” reports that the first cut of the movie is in … and it didn’t go over well.
“The execs at Disney are not happy with the movie, and Rogue One will have to go back into four weeks of expensive reshoots in July,” an anonymous source told the paper. Director Gareth Edwards, of Godzilla-reboot fame, will apparently now have to deal with a very hands-on approach from a nervous studio: “Disney won’t take a back seat, and is demanding changes, as the movie isn’t testing well,” a source said. Such whispers must always be taken with skepticism, but then again, “Page Six” did have a decent enough network to get word of Alden Ehrenreich’s casting as young Han Solo before the official announcement.
A source at Disney told “Page Six” that reshoots were “always anticipated” and that “[c]oming off The Force Awakens, there’s an incredibly high bar for this movie and we have a responsibility to the franchise and to the fans to deliver the best possible movie we can.” And to be fair, for a tentpole space opera, is there such a thing as an inexpensive reshoot?
Vulture has reached out to Disney for comment and we’ll update if we hear back.
Update: Sources have told The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline that reshoots are indeed happening. According to THR, “execs screened the film and felt it was tonally off with what a ‘classic’ Star Wars movie should feel like.” Apparently, this rough cut had “the feel of a war movie” and “[t]he 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.” Deadline’s intel was a little more vague, saying executives felt “the first cut was lacking the edge that Force Awakens had, and the story needs to jell.” Deadline’s sources also say the movie’s still on target for a December 16 release.