Tony Gilroy Says ‘Rogue One’ Was in ‘Terrible Trouble’ Before His Reshoots
Months before it actually hit theaters, there was a ton of buzz around Rogue One — just not the kind Lucasfilm wanted surrounding its first Star Wars Story spinoff. According to various reports, Lucasfilm had ordered extensive reshoots, bringing in Oscar-winning screenwriter Tony Gilroy to overhaul a huge chunk of Gareth Edwards’ film. For the first time, Gilroy is opening up about his work on Rogue One, confirming what many suspected about the troubled production.
Depending on who you ask, Gilroy’s reshoots either amounted to no more than a few action scenes or approximately 40 percent of the movie. Though it remains difficult to tell which parts are Gilroy’s and which parts belong to original director Gareth Edwards, some loose narrative threads in the finished product make it clear that Rogue One had more than a couple of cooks in its kitchen.
Despite Lucasfilm’s assurances that Gilroy — best known for his work on the Bourne trilogy — was merely adding some insert shots and providing additional “clarity and character development,” the screenwriter confirms that this was most definitely not the case. Appearing on The Moment With Brian Koppelman podcast (via THR), Gilroy described Rogue One as a “mess” before he came on board:
If you look at Rogue, all the difficulty with Rogue, all the confusion of it … and all the mess, and in the end when you get in there, it’s actually very, very simple to solve. Because you sort of go, ‘This is a movie where, folks, just look. Everyone is going to die.’ So it’s a movie about sacrifice.
Gilroy begins talking about Rogue One around the 46-minute mark. “I have to be careful,” he says, acknowledging that this is the first time he’s ever spoken about his work on the project. Though he’s pretty vague about the extent of his work, he says his screenplay credit was “easily won” in arbitration. As previously reported, Gilroy made about $5 million for his work on the Star Wars spinoff — you don’t get a screenwriting credit and that kind of money unless your revisions were substantial.
Gilroy goes on to explain why he believes he was able to make such significant changes so easily:
That was my super power. I’ve never been interested in Star Wars, ever. So I had no reverence for it whatsoever. I was unafraid about that. And they were in such a swamp… they were in so much terrible, terrible trouble that all you could do was improve their position.