Now that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War have been released and made their respective impacts, the next highly-anticipated big screen blockbuster event of 2016 is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The first in a series of and prequels and spin-offs featuring characters and events integral to the evolution of the Star Wars universe, Rogue One tells the tale of the group of brave Rebellion soldiers who stole the plans to the Death Star that set in motion the narrative of Episode IV: A New Hope.
The first trailer premiered almost two months ago to an enthusiastic worldwide response. Executives at Disney are counting on Rogue One to bring in global box office grosses equal to or greater than those of last December’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but according to a recent article by Page One’s Emily Smith, those same execs are less than thrilled with director Gareth Edwards after viewing his first cut of the film.
According to a Hollywood source for Smith’s story: “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.” Edwards made his feature directorial debut with 2010’s restrained, grounded sci-fi creature feature Monsters and made his leap to the big leagues four years later with the excellent Godzilla, which no doubt snagged the British filmmaker the coveted Rogue One assignment.
Although he prefers to work as free from studio interference as possible, Edwards doesn’t have the clout to make the mighty Disney back down. As Smith’s source put it: “Disney won’t take a back seat, and is demanding changes, as the movie isn’t testing well.” There has yet to be any official confirmation of this news from Disney, Edwards, or representatives of the director, although a source at Disney took a pragmatic approach to explaining away the rumor:
“The filmmaking team and the studio always anticipated additional shooting and second unit work to make the film the absolute best it can be, and the actors were aware there would be additional shooting. Coming 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.”
Now that Alden Ehrenreich has been cast as the young Han Solo in Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s forthcoming Star Wars Story feature focusing on the roguish smuggler and future heroic Rebellion leader’s early years, it is possible that Ehrenreich could make his first appearance as Solo in a cameo that could be part of the rumored reshoots.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which stars Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, and Genevieve O’Reilly, is still set for theatrical release on December 16, 2016.