Fans of the Star Wars saga have been pretty warm to the prospect of a one-off prequel that is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. At least, that's what things look like from the side of the coin that's available to the public, as a recent report has painted a completely different picture from behind the scenes. If the latest word is to be believed, Disney is already afraid of the film's box office prospects, and is trying to head them off at the pass.
While we must warn you about the fact that this report came from the infamous Page Six off-shoot of the New York Post, the content of these rumors sound extremely familiar. If their sources are to be believed, there's a quiet war being waged between the studio and director Gareth Edwards, as they both have differing opinions on what Rogue One: A Star Wars Story should contain. This fact is only intensified when you take into account the reports that the film isn't testing as well as the studio would like, which has sparked reports that some crucial reshoots will be taking place this summer. An unnamed source laid down the details of what's going on as follows:
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.
More than once, the shadow of J.J. Abrams' uber-successful Star Wars: The Force Awakens was mentioned by sources who detailed that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was somehow falling short of the mark that last year's blockbusting sequel made at theaters last December. With records falling left and right during the box office run of the seventh film in the Star Wars saga, it's easy for a studio like Disney to get extremely nervous about the box office prospects of what looks like an extremely experimental entry in what's always been a rather traditional sci-fi throwback.
If Disney is really poised to spend a good chunk of change on reshoots for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, then there's one factor we think they're going to be enhancing in order to bump up the curb appeal for Gareth Edwards' film. If our assumptions are true, then we'll probably end up seeing more of Darth Vader's presence, even if it's just a couple more scenes involving his intimidating visage. With fans already expecting a fair amount of Lord Vader in the latest Star Wars prequel, it wouldn't be surprising to hear that the poor test numbers were due to a perceived shortage of force choking and lightsaber action at the hands of the legendary movie villain. So, of course, Disney is going to give the people what they want, so as to hedge their box office bets this December.
While Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sounds like a safe, money making prospect, this weekend's dismal performance of fellow Disney sequel Alice Through The Looking Glass is going to have Disney on high alert when it comes to even the suggestion of another big tentpole franchise taking a bath at the box office. So while these reports of behind the scenes strife may be rumored, they're rumors that sound like extremely plausible scenarios. Not to mention, if these reports are true, then we can see why Gareth Edwards dropped his gig directing Godzilla 2 to focus on supposedly "smaller" films.
The clock is ticking between now and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's December 16th release date, and anything can happen between now and then. Here's hoping whatever the end result turns out to be, it'll be the best film all parties involved can offer.