Solo wasn’t the only Star Wars spin-off movie, or standalone ‘Star Wars Story’, that encountered production problems in the run-up to its release.
Screenwriter Tony Gilroy, who was brought in to work on Rogue One in the eleventh hour, has opened up for the first time about the infamous reshoots for the movie.
When the movie was in production, rumours were rampant that Disney were becoming increasingly unhappy with director Gareth Edwards’ output. Gilroy (whose writing credits include Michael Clayton and the Bourne movies) was initially brought on to reshape the film’s ending, as it wasn’t coming together as hoped, and had a significant say in the film’s final cut.
Gilroy revealed that Rogue One was “just in so much terrible, terrible trouble that all you can do is improve their position.”
Regarding the extent of his role on the movie, EW says that sources within Lucasfilm reported that as well as offering notes on the first director’s cut and writing additional material to enhance the story, Gilroy also helped Edwards by acting as second unit director on reshoots.
Gilroy indicated as much, though he stayed discreet on the extent of his role, on The Moment with Brian Koppelman podcast, saying that he “came in after the director’s cut” and that his screenplay credits was “easily won.” He described the situation he was brought in to help manage as a “mess” but also said the solution was “instantly clear” to him.
“If you look at Rogue, all the difficulty with Rogue and all the confusion of it and all the smart people and all the mess, and in the end when you get in there, it’s actually very, very simple to solve,” Gilroy remarked. “Because you sort of go, ‘This is a movie where, folks, just look. Everyone is gonna die.’ So it’s a movie about sacrifice.”
He noted that “there’s lots of little things that we have to get, but it’s all little things within the pre-existing footage,” and identified the key as developing Felicity Jones’ character Jyn Erso and Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor.
He said: “I saw the purity that was missing and I saw that, at least, in terms of one or two of the characters because who knew how big the fix was gonna be? Who knew what people would do?”
The chances of Gilroy returning for more Star Wars movies seems slim as he said he “had no reverence for [the series] whatsoever” and that it “doesn’t appeal to [him].”
“I don’t think Rogue really is a Star Wars movie in many ways,” he added. “To me, it’s a Battle of Britain movie.”