How Tony Gilroy saved Rogue One from Box Office failure

Mar 6, 2020
how tony gilory saved rogue one

Rogue One credits Gareth Edwards as the director, and that's how it should be, Gareth was the hand that guided the production, chose what the shots looked like, directed the actors and generally did what all good directors are supposed to do.

Said production became infamous for its reshoots.

These are a very common thing with major scale tentpole film productions and it's no big deal they occur - the director and producers are simply trying to make the best movie they can. In many instances, they are planned and budgeted for, because that's the reality of making movies.

Revenge of the Sith had plenty of re-shoots, no big deal, they made the movie better than the initial cut.  Indeed, the original film's cantina scene, where Han Solo faces off with Greedo, was completely revamped during reshoots.

Something, something Han Shot first.

In Rogue One's case, there was intense scrutiny from the Star Wars fan base so their alarm bells began ringing when they heard of the re-shoots.

During this time Lucasfilm had recognized Rogue One was not working the way they wanted it to. Established filmmaker Tony Gilroy was brought in to assist Gareth Edwards and the production team to wrestle the film into shape. Gilroy had directed a couple of films, most notably Micheal Clayton, for which he was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Script - Tilda Swinton actually nabbed the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress) and as a scriptwriter for the Jason Bourne films. 

 As fate now has it, Tony Gilroy is now considered the mastermind behind the reshoots, with some speculation derivatively thrown Edwards way as to him being incompetent and that Tony was effectively a Ghost Director for the film.

That's uncalled for. 

At the end of the day, Gareth Edwards is the director of Star Wars - he shot for example THAT Darth Vader scene which was a reshoot (effectively a new idea that came to light after principal filming had finished).

Tony's work in reshaping the film through the editing process and creating new scenes means he earned a scriptwriting credit and earned his place in Star Wars immortality.

His key contribution is to the climatic ending of the film on Scariff - it wasn't lost on many fans that most of what was in the trailers was missing from the final cut as most of it had been refilmed. From what we gather, the shoots for this part of the film were extensive and a lot of the originally filmed action points were dropped in favour of Gilroy's new ideas.

general merrick rogue one

But let's start with the first trailer, Jyn Erso's cringe line "I rebel" never made the final cut. They probably didn't need Gilroy to decide to cut that!

Saw Guerra's big "What will you become" speech was cut. 

A key change was the placement of three key characters - Director Krennic was featured as being on the beach of Scariff with his awesome cape but it too was cut. Did you see him, Cassian or Jyn fight a desperate battle on the beach? Nope, their story was altered completely.

Here's what Gilory had to say himself about his fix:


“If you look at Rogue, all the difficulty with Rogue and all the confusion of it and all the smart people and all the mess, and in the end when you get in there, it’s actually very, very simple to solve,” Gilroy remarked. “Because you sort of go, ‘This is a movie where, folks, just look. Everyone is gonna die.’ So it’s a movie about sacrifice.”

I mean it was always part of the plan to do reshoots,” he said. “We always knew we were coming back somewhere to do stuff. We just didn’t know what it would be until we started sculpting the film in the edit.”

“I saw the purity that was missing and I saw that, at least, in terms of one or two of the characters because who knew how big the fix was gonna be? Who knew what people would do?”

When things pass through many hands and there's a great deal of confusion ... and there's all kinds of accessories and jewelries and bootstraps and zippers, and all the rest of the stuff. The purity for the characters, if it's not there, to begin with, it just deteriorates and just turns into an absolute mush.

two tubes rogue one
Two Tubes

So what does Gilroy think of Star Wars?


"It doesn't appeal to me," he said of making another Star Wars film. "But I don't think Rogue really is a Star Wars movie in many ways. To me, it's a Battle of Britain movie."

YOu'd think from such a statement, he's got no interest in taking part in a Star Wars production ever again, however money talks and Lucasfilm offered him a nice pay to write and direct the new Stars Wars television show featuring Cassian Andor from Rogue One!

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