- Title: 'Rogue One' director talks reshoots, diversity and differences
- Date: 5th December 2016
- Summary: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 3, 2016) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR, GARETH EDWARDS, SAYING: "It's nice now because we've had this big secret for so long and you can't tell your friends, you can't tell your family, you can't tell anybody and suddenly it's like 'Here you go'. It's like you're given Star Wars. Well, you're not given it, you're lent it. We've been this surrogate mother for a bit and now we're giving it back to the world and going 'We hope you like it.'"
- Embargoed: 20th December 2016 20:32
- Keywords: Gareth Edwards Star Wars Rogue One reshoots diversity Death Star casting Lucasfilm Walt Disney Pictures
- Location: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES; UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS;
- City: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES; UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS;
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVA00C5BM0H1P
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:With the release of the 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' less than two weeks away, anticipation is building for the first of the Walt Disney and Lucasfilm planned spin-off films.
Directed by 'Godzilla's' Gareth Edwards, 'Rogue One' is set before 'Episode IV: A New Hope' and tries to emulate that film whilst giving it a modern edge.
"Probably it's just a little bit more embedded, like a little bit more like documentary handheld feel at times, not everything," Edwards told Reuters at press interviews in San Francisco. "I really like that to get that feeling... that this is a real world, these are real places and it's unfolding in front of us. We don't know what's happening next. But on top of that, if it was just that it wouldn't feel like Star Wars and so it's blended with that cinematic, epic, very well designed and executed style of the seventies."
Edwards insists that, despite unfounded online reports and articles in high-end publications, 'Rogue One' is very much its own film and separate from the main franchise.
When asked if there were any connections to Episode VIII, the second film in the new franchise, Edwards replied "I think probably zero. I don't know how these things begin, these things you read online. Obviously it's the Star Wars universe, there is stuff that technically connects to the rest of the saga but it really is about connecting to Episode IV, the very first Star Wars film. Yeah, I don't know where that stuff comes from. You read a lot of things on line and it's hilarious because some of it you read it and you go 'That's a good idea' and other stuff you go 'Where did that come from?' and you can't react, you can't get involved, you just have to carry on making the film."
'Rogue One' has one of the most diverse cast seen in a big budget Hollywood film, with British actress Felicity Jones leading a rebel troop consisting of Mexico's Diego Luna, Chinese actors Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen and British Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed.
"I think genuinely it's important in this day and age to try and represent the world but that's not what we tried to do," explained Edwards. "In our story, the rebellion is fractured and it's before 'A New Hope' and there's the X-Wing pilots but there's all these other groups as well from all over the galaxy that are not really getting along and functioning properly. Some are more extreme than others and different places so we needed to visually represent that with different ethnicity and all sorts and so it was just a really good opportunity and the second you do that you also go 'OK, now we can cast anyone in the entire world' so it's amazing."
Reshoots on the film were done over the summer, which prompted rumors of fighting between Edwards and Walt Disney over the film's production. However, Edwards explained that the reshoots were already factored into the production process as it was something he had done with all his previous films.
"It's an organic thing. The film can tell you what it means to be and you can react to it and it's less of a dictatorship. It's more like listening to the movie, and it tells you its strengths and you go 'Oh let's do this, let's do that' and it's more exciting and interesting. And that's what happened on this, it's what happens on all these major films. It was always part of the plan, it's just when you make 'Star Wars', you have the whole world watching and everyone interested in it but it's pretty normal," he said.
'Rogue One' doesn't start with the famous crawl of pre-story information or the signature Star Wars music, but Edwards hopes that won't affect audiences.
"You don't have to have seen 'Star Wars', come and see this film. You could never have seen it in your life and everything you needed to know you learn during this movie, you don't have to read it. My goal would be, if we do our jobs properly, that by the time the film ends the first thing you want to do is watch 'A New Hope' and see the rest if you haven't seen it before. It would be very weird actually for someone new who says 'What order should I see it in?'. To me, Star Wars: A New Hope is the greatest film ever made so I'd always be 'You have to watch that. You can't watch any of the films until you've seen that'."
'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' will have its world premiere on December 10, before beginning its global theatrical rollout from December 14.
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