Star Wars standalone movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will undergo several weeks' worth of additional shooting, sources have confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
Much of the cast and director Gareth Evans will regroup in mid-June for a round of shooting. The move is happening after the execs screened the movie, which has not tested before audiences, who 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.
Rogue One focuses on the fabled mission hinted in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, that of a group of rebels stealing that plans to the Death Star. The plans later end up in the hands of Princess Leia who transfers them to R2-D2.
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"This is the closest thing to a prequel ever," a source tells THR. "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!"
And while it's not confirmed, some suggest that the new shooting could pave the way for an appearance of Han Solo as played by Alden Ehrenreich. The actor only recently nabbed the role of the spice smuggler and was not involved in Rogue One's principal photography, which ran from August 2015 to February 2016.
Disney re-introduced audiences to Star Wars with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which garnered excellent reviews and grossed over $2 billion worldwide, becoming the third highest grossing movie of all time. Sources say that while Evans's 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," says a studio insider.
Reshoots or additional shooting is practically a given in this decade of massive tentpole comic book, fantasy, sci-fi moviemaking. The movies are massive productions, filled with so much green-screen, and fit together in a way that, more often than not, demands for shooting to fill in holes or clarify plots. Even acting deals have the shoots in mind when contracts call for "run of show" appearances, which include not just shooting anytime during production but even during post-production, say several agency sources.