Rogue One not testing well, getting extensive reshoots according to Page Six gossip

JediTricks

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This comes from Page Six, which is a gossip column spun off from the New York Post, so it may just be completely off-base and to be taken with all the grains of salt, but I figure it's something we might want to discuss given Rogue One is 6 months away.

The piece is scathing, it claims that Disney has found Gareth Edwards' first pass at the movie unsatisfactory, early testing isn't going well, and Disney has ordered a whole month of reshoots coming up in July. The early cut of the movie supposedly have fallen short. It hints at tension between Edwards and Disney execs trying to wrest control over the project. There were always pickups and second unit shots expected, but not to this expensive degree, according to the article.

Normally I'd just roll my eyes at something from Page Six, but given Disney picked director Gareth Edwards for Rogue One despite his only directing credits being a small film from '10, and the Godzilla reboot from '14, his only big budget blockbuster film - one that turned out middling response and fair but not outstanding box office. That is a similar recipe Disney had with Josh Trank, who was originally slated to direct another of the Star Wars anthology films before being let go last April. Edwards is a decade older than Trank and has had more experience in the industry in the visual effects realm.

So, is Rogue One in danger or is Page Six stirring up a tempest in a teapot?
 

bigbarada

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I'm about 75% sure that this is just the sensationalist tabloid media doing what sensationalist tabloid media does: taking a kernel of a story and blowing it completely out of proportion.

However, there is still the 25% possibility that Rogue One really is a mess and Disney is scrambling to try and save it. Either way, I'm still optimistic, but it's going to be interesting to read the "making of" stories years from now to see what exactly is happening behind the scenes.

Also, now I'm wondering how many scenes from the trailer are going to end up on the cutting room floor.
 

JediTricks

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Yeah, tabloid and gossip combined do not a good source make, that's why I prefaced it out the wazoo. ;) If it folds in on itself, none of that is blowing back on me.

I can believe it's a mess based on a relatively new director who is focused on visuals in his career, a large cast, and a trailer that suggests a general focus on aesthetics - something which can bog down the film, burying the story. Do I believe that? I am not sure.

Interesting question you leave us with. The trailer had a lot of iconic-style shots in it, so if there's cutting it'll be shots of Jyn getting dragged into the Rebel base, character sorts of things, the "it's a rebellion, I rebel" line and Mon Mothma's smirk perhaps. But I'd guess the trailer content isn't going to get lost, it's mostly visuals and action, all of it well handled. Oh, the guy with the sticksaber maybe, it just asks a lot of the audience to accept that in a universe of blasters AND lightsabers people will still run around with dowels.
 

JediTricks

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The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline each have follow-up articles on this issue with independent sources confirming portions, saying the movie was off tone, too dark, too grim, too much like a war movie; that it lacks the edge of TFA and the story needs to jell.

The test screening which prompted this wasn't actually testing, it was an executive screening where Rogue One was deemed not enough Star Wars-iness.

The reshoots will bring in some levity to lighten the mood and bring more "fun" to the adventure. That it was solid but not hitting four-quadrant appeal (all 4 demos broken down by gender lines and age lines above and below 25).

--

I don't know whether I'm glad someone wants more Star Wars feel from a movie, or worried that they're only trying to ape the same thing over and over rather than letting these anthology films be unique extensions unto themselves.

I didn't see Edwards' Godzilla film, but everybody told me it was pretty grim on the characters, so why is Disney surprised that the guy who did that would do it again? "Here, we know you have limited experience and your vision is very particular, take the keys to the billion-dollar franchise and make your movie... OUR WAY."
 

El Chuxter

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On the one hand, for all the griping, Disney has nailed the Marvel movies. Even the few that people complain about are gold.

On the other hand, dammit, we were promised a dark, grim war movie set in this universe.
 

JediTricks

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The Marvel movies largely suffer from sameness though. From the start of Phase 2, there's been only Guardians of the Galaxy as any storytelling outlier. The rest have been either the "fun" Ant Man camp, or the "serious" Winter Soldier camp. The villains and challenges largely fall right back to the Iron Man 1 camp of "evil mirror" mostly. Disney is becoming rigid in those movies' expressions. That shouldn't be the case with Star Wars, no matter how successful financially.
 

Maradona

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Just read that as much as 40% of the film is rumored to be reshot. I really hope this turns out well.
 

JediTricks

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Just read that as much as 40% of the film is rumored to be reshot. I really hope this turns out well.
That particular number was refuted by a different source, but it still sounds like the reshoots will be extensive, and almost every day there's more news that seems unsettling even when it's supposed to be damage control. The interest in seeing that original cut also keeps going up and up. I think Disney's going to end up shelving the Gareth Edwards cut entirely, that everything not in an action scene will get tossed into the Disney Vault never to be seen again, and that every dialog scene is going to get reshot with a lighter, bouncier tone that doesn't match up as well. But that's just guess/fear.
 

JediTricks

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The refute of the refute has been... refuted. According to today's news sources, it may be over half the film, that they've swapped directors to Tony Gilroy for writing and directing the reshoots, that it may be more like 2 months' of reshoots, and the Disney board is very unhappy with Gareth Edwards' film.
http://www.cosmicbooknews.com/content/star-wars-rogue-one-worse-trouble-thought

Back in post-production on ESB, Lucas had viewed a near finished cut of the film and found it too dark, the romance too heavy, and as producer demanded his turn at the wheel, locking himself away for 3 days in the editing bay to recut it so that it fit his vision. After those 3 days, he screened the finished product and at the end of that screening handed the proverbial keys back to Kershner and his team, apologizing, and remaining hands-off for the rest of the project. George Lucas nearly torpedoed The Empire Strikes Back because it wasn't fun and light enough in his eyes.

I don't know how Gareth Edwards' cut of Rogue One looks right now, but they either hired him for a reason or they made a big mistake. George Lucas and the rogue ESB cut is a lesson in humility, in trusting others when you are too close. If you did your job right the first time in picking the right person for the job of making the movie, then you need to put faith in your efforts; if you failed that job... flailing about won't help.

At some point either the movie will push back its release date (as ANH originally did), or make due with whatever they're scrambling on now.
 

Tycho

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I want a dark war movie where everybody dies. They get the plans to Princess Leia somehow and Vader kills remaining Heroes.

Every movie does not have to be "Star Wars-y" in the same way. We can have a dark movie category that may be even repeated one more time when the appropriate subject matter is dealt with. Obviously a Han Solo story would feel like a new hope for the next Anthology film with a very funny and sarcastic hero and Lando and Chewbacca in character as well.

Everyone does not have to like the film as much as Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi if he Ewoks were your thing.
 
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I want a dark war movie where everybody dies. They get the plans to Princess Leia somehow and Vader kills remaining Heroes.
I don't expect a happily ever after for these characters, or at least some of them.

RO is going to be the closest to a war movie we're going to see in the SW universe. I've read where Edwards wanted to make it in the vein of the Thin Red Line. Disney wants a family-friendly movie. I hope we see more of the former than the latter.
 

DarkJedi5

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They allowed Deadpool if I'm not mistaken. Great movie.
Mutants and all X-people are Fox movie properties, not Disney. Disney owns Marvel, but because Marvel studies sold off movie rights to certain character groups before Disney bought them, there are some movie franchise that still don't belong to Disney: Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and X-Men being the main ones. Spider-Man appearing in Captain America: Civil War required a deal between Sony (who has the movie rights to Spidey) and Disney (who has the movie rights to the rest of the Avengers). Point is, Disney had nothing to do with Deadpool.
 

JEDIpartner

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I'm not worried. And if it doesn't turn out brilliantly, I still won't be bothered. There are more important things to be concerned about-- like which of my friends am I gonna see at Celebration next year. :)
 

JediTricks

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Rumor has it that the ending was reshot, as well as other material, and the new writer is making a bundle off this: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/rogue-one-writer-tony-gilroy-make-millions-reshoots-951119

This is the problem with just racing ahead without a real plan. Disney thinks they can replicate the pace of their Marvel movie successes without the vision, and getting lost in the shuffle is integrity which can take the whole thing down with it. I wish them luck and I hope it works, but this is no way to get the job done right and even if they pull it off here, it won't work twice. Have a good story to tell, and then tell it well.
 

Maradona

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Sure sounds like a lot of cooks are in the kitchen, but I'm still optimistic about the film, though the trailers may have given away too much for my taste. The look feels Star Wars-y enough so far. Lets hope the aesthetic that we love about the galaxy far, far away is preserved.
 

DarkJedi5

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Sure sounds like a lot of cooks are in the kitchen, but I'm still optimistic about the film, though the trailers may have given away too much for my taste. The look feels Star Wars-y enough so far. Lets hope the aesthetic that we love about the galaxy far, far away is preserved.
I agree that from what I hear, there's been a lot of tinkering by lots of folks. However, I do remember thinking to myself while watching TFA that almost all the scenes from the trailers were from like the first 1/3 of the film. I'm assuming that while that won't quite be the case for Rogue One, it might be similar.