When you have been reporting movie news for as long as I have, you learn to take “news” articles with a grain of salt. On Monday night, Page Six ran an article with the headline Disney execs in a panic over upcoming ‘Star Wars’ film. According to the report, Disney execs are dissatisfied with Rogue One, which has prompted “expensive reshoots.” Between Monday night and Tuesday evening, myriads of websites have picked up the story, most of them parroting Page Six’s assessment Disney is in a panic. The “first cut” is being described in headlines as “so bad,” “a hot mess,” and “not the movie Disney is looking for.” Others are saying the production “might be in trouble,” or “in crisis.”
Are things really this bad? The teaser trailer, released in early April, looked so promising. (See video below.)
Before you panic, like the Disney execs have supposedly done, let’s examine the Page Six article, where the story originated.
First of all, the article quotes a “Hollywood source” as saying, “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.” “Not happy” is not the same as “in a panic,” or as another site puts it, “freaking out.” The paragraph above this paraphrases what Page Six was told: “…bosses at Disney are not fully satisfied with the first cut from director Gareth Edwards.” That doesn’t sound like panic, either. It seems to me the headline was a a bit of click bait, and the other sites picking up the story just went with it. Near the end of the article, the “inside” source is again quoted, saying “Rogue One has fallen short of what J.J. Abrams did with Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens. So Disney has ordered reshoots.” Did anyone really expect Rogue One to match up to The Force Awakens?
The report ends with another quote, this time from not just an “inside source,” but a “Disney source.”
“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.”
So, the reshoots had already been planned. It doesn’t sound to me like this was ever a case of panicking, just Disney going through the normal course of production.