TV & FILM
brian-mcgee - April 6, 2018
While it's something of a mess, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sort of represents the best of what we can expect from Lucasfilm in the post-George Lucas era. I don't find The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi to be the fiascos some people think they are, but when you look at Rogue One from a distance, you have to admit that it's a really great Star Wars fan film. And that's the best we can hope for in a time when Star Wars fanboys are making Star Wars movies.
Except, maybe not. Michael Clayton writer/director Tony Gilroy was brought on late in Rogue One's production to help guide some structural rewrites and reshoots for the film. He has remained silent until now about his involvement, but he basically throws credited director Gareth Edwards right under the bus, saying that the film was a mess before he came in and saved the day.
As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Gilroy stopped by The Moment With Brian Koppelman Podcast and said that the film was in shambles when he got the call from Lucasfilm in June 2016, 6 months before the film was due in theaters...
"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," Gilroy said of the film. "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."
"I came in after the director's cut. I have a screenplay credit in the arbitration that was easily won," said Gilroy.
Now, as far as that thing about the film being a really expensive fan film, turns out Gilroy's not a big fan of Star Wars...
"I've never been interested in Star Wars, ever. So I had no reverence for it whatsoever. I was unafraid about that," said Gilroy. "And they were in such a swamp … they were in so much terrible, terrible trouble that all you could do was improve their position."
"It doesn't appeal to me," he said of making another Star Wars film. "But I don't think Rogue really is a Star Warsmovie in many ways. To me, it's a Battle of Britain movie."
Say whatever you like about Gilroy's candor and his openness over his distaste for the universe, but it's kind of a dick move to keep driving home how bad the film was before he came on board. Gareth Edwards played ball with Lucasfilm and promoted the film and appeared in behind the scenes stuff that showed how great everyone got along. Sure, it was his job in the end, but for Gilroy to keep calling the film awful prior to his involvement is sort of uncouth behavior.
And, let us also not forget that this is all about perspective. I'm sure that from his perspective, Joss Whedon saved Warner Brothers' collective asses when he salvaged Justice League. from the terrible film Zack Snyder had given them. I will give Whedon the edge in being far classier than Gilroy by not saying any of that. May that be the last time I stick up for Joss Whedon.