'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' May Be the Worst Film in the Star Wars Franchise?
Most fans are likely looking at that sentence and getting rather emotional, but just consider a few things.
The film is reportedly going into reshoots that will take up to four weeks. Initial reports explained that Disney Executives were rather unhappy with the product and that "test screenings" had not been favorable.
Deadline bounced back with a report that stated that there were no test screenings for the film and that this was simply an attempt to give the film the "edge" that "The Force Awakens" had. There were also statements that the story needed to gel.
The problem of course is far deeper than that. Reshoots are standard practice in the industry, with most major motion pictures simply being too big to fail and needed to some adjustments here and there to tighten up the picture. Those films have so much money behind them that reshoots are an afterthought from a financial perspective.
A troubled creative history
Yet "Rogue One" has had a troubled inception for quite some time. Earlier this year it was reported that director Christopher McQuarrie "saved" the script for the film after it went through a number of veteran hands. Gary Whitta started the writing before Chris Weitz came in and took over the film. But even then, there was still apprehension over the status of the story and McQuarrie was brought in to rewrite and tighten the film overall.
Four weeks of shooting however indicates that there are more than just a few cosmetic additions. Four weeks likely implies major revision from a scripting perspective, which also hints that McQuarrie's job was never completed to utmost satisfaction.
Reshoots mandated by studio execs have been problematic
Major motion pictures that have undergone such massive reshoots have not always had happy endings, especially when the mandate comes from studio heads. "The Fantastic Four" film experience a major upheaval that resulted in one of the worst superhero films of recent memory.
"Spider-Man 3" was forced into a script rewrite by executives that demanded Venom be thrown in the movie. The end product was lambasted for being overstuffed. Sony Pictures never learned from this mistake, proceeded to overstuff its second "The Amazing Spider-Man" film and wound up having to let Disney and Marvel take over the character for future installments.
The initial trailer for "Rogue One" hinted at some intense violence and some publications have grumbled over whether Disney's executives might want to pull back on some of the violence to ensure that it suits children. This could create a disjointed film that lacks tonal cohesion and features one compromise after another.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" also changed writers midway through the process with Michael Arndt stepping aside in favor of director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan. But that was as far as the changes went.
Film set for winter release
The film is still set to be released in December 2016, which is another troubling aspect as the reshoots will carry deep into the summer, leaving the team with only four or so months to put the rest of the film together. This rushed process could also hurt the film.
Considering the tight production schedule, Disney and Lucasfilm are bound to have a misstep here or there. This might just be it.
Do the reshoots for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" scare you?
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