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Update: Disney is reshooting Star Wars anthology film Rogue One to “lighten the mood”

on May 31, 2016, 10:15pm

The Internet collectively froze when Disney unleashed the first teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. (We even offered five bold reasons why the first spinoff film could be better than The Force Awakens.) Two months later, however, it appears that the studio isn’t too pleased with the initial cut of Gareth Edwards’ highly anticipated film.

On Monday night, Page Six reported that, “The execs at Disney are not happy with the movie, and Rogue One will have to go back into four weeks of expensive reshoots in July.” The same source added that “Disney won’t take a back seat, and is demanding changes, as the movie isn’t testing well.” The Force is … well, rather murky on this one.

(Podcast: State of the Empire discusses Rogue One, Episode VIII, and the mystery of Snoke)

Although Page Six was right about Alden Ehrenreich landing the role as a young Han Solo, it’s hard to tell if they’re jumping the gun on these rumors, especially given that most of the “crisis” revolves around reshoots, which is not all that uncommon for a blockbuster film of this stature. The publication’s Disney source also insists just as much…

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.

Then again, it’s very likely Edwards delivered a darker, edgier film, one the Mouse House are unwilling to release in the wake of the lighthearted, spirited direction of last December’s The Force Awakens. Considering Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy has been so insistent on these anthology films being different and unique, it would be very disappointing if that were the case.

Update: Both Deadline and Heat Vision have corroborated Page Six’s initial reports that four weeks of reshooting are planned and that a cut of the film was screened but only for the studio. Sadly, it also appears that our initial fears were true and Disney isn’t too stoked with Edwards’ tone. Here’s what their source offered:

“The move is happening after execs screened the movie and felt it was tonally off with what a ‘classic’ Star Wars movie should feel like. The goal of the reshoots will be to lighten the mood, bring some levity into the story and restore a sense of fun to the adventure.

This takes place just before A New Hope and leads up to the 10 minutes before that classic films begins. You have to match the tone… while [director Gareth] Edwards’ first cut was a solid showing, it didn’t measure up to the bar set in terms of four-quadrant appeal. Anything less than extraordinary won’t do.”

Nevertheless, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 15th.

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