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Rogue One: Mads Mikkelsen Claims Reshoots Seek to “Add and Polish”

In the latest on the Rogue One reshoot drama, cast member Mads Mikkelsen claims the reshoots seek to add more to the film, rather than tone it down as fans fear.

Speaking to the UK daily The Independent, Mikkelsen talked about the Rogue One reshoots, as well his other appearances on a new dark comedy called Men and Chicken, Doctor Strange and Hannibal.

But Stormtrooper Larry doesn’t care about those, so here’s the juicy Rogue One parts from the interview:

There is a lot of talk about the ongoing reshoots, are you involved with them?

I have one day. I can’t remember when, in two weeks I think.

It’s been very mixed in the press, with two sides; some sources are claiming the film will undergo big changes while others are saying it will be very minimal. What’s the feeling you have from being involved with the film?

Basically, all the big films I have done always have reshoots, it is part of their budget. They’re either not super happy with a scene bit, the way we were acting, or maybe there’s something they want to add. It’s not a new thing, it happens with every film. Whether it’s bigger or less, I have no idea, I have nothing to compare with. It’s the same film, it’s just adding little bits here and there to do the final polishing. That’s my feeling.

It’s interesting because, obviously, films get reshot all the time but, for this one, it has been talked about everywhere. 

That’s also interesting, to make the right goal and all the rumours happening. [Disney] love that, it’s free publicity.

You’re in Rogue One, apparently playing a semi-villain who is ‘not a bad guy,’ is there anything you can tell me about the character?

I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to say without killing you. I play someone in the film, yes. So far, so good.

So to summarize,

  • Mads will be back in Pinewood for a one-day shoot two weeks from now
  • The reshoots seek to add more to the story, instead of watering down scenes
  • He claims it’s “still the same film”
  • He can’t tell us about his role, after inadvertently revealing that he’s Jyn Erso’s father a while ago.

The rumor is, Mads is not just central character Jyn Erso’s dad in a series of flashbacks, he’s also an Imperial weapons engineer/scientist who refined the original Geonosian design and made the Death Star possible. That explains why Jyn grew up without a father, as well as her rebellious streak. Is it just us, or does Star Wars have a thing for orphaned heroes?

Anyway, the interview is just a teaser excerpt from a longer segment. Expect The Independent to release the full transcript soon, but for die-hard Bothans, these are the parts that matter.

And that’s the latest on the Rogue One reshoot mama-jama.

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Who would you rather believe, Mads Mikkelsen and his Disney handlers? Or Stormtrooper Larry who was the actual cause of the Rogue One reshoots?

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Rogue One: A Deeper Look at the Reshoots

Yesterday, The NY Post broke the news that Rogue One is reportedly in trouble and headed for reshoots. While the piece was full of clickbait and overblown speculation, it did get one fact right: there will be reshoots.

We’ve already determined that cast member Donnie Yen will be flying back to London for what he called “additional photography.” Instead of being merely for promotional material, that turned out to be the reshoot. Today, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed the NY Post story.

In a nutshell:

  • The reshoots are happening in mid-June
  • They were ordered after Disney execs screened the initial cut
  • The execs claim the current cut is “tonally deaf” from what a Star Wars movie is
  • The preview was only screened internally at Disney, and there were no test audiences as reported by NY Post
  • The December 16 release date will push though as planned

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Let’s analyze:

The reshoots are happening in mid-June

Rogue One started production in August last year, with principal photography going until February. A June reshoot means they are working hard to fix the movie before Star Wars Celebration Europe, which happens in London on July 15, and Comic Con, which starts on the last week of July.

Historically, these two massive events are marketing goldmines for Disney. And with Rogue One being this year’s offering, the pressure is on to provide a more substantial teaser to one-up the trailer released in April.

If the mid-June shoot stretches several weeks, the cast might even be in London to attend Celebration Europe. Last year’s Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim was attended by nearly the whole TFA cast, lacking only Harrison Ford and Adam Driver. It was also the first appearance of the First Order stormtroopers and BB-8. Presumably, we should see a similar star-studded appearance by the Rogue One cast to drum up anticipation, and the reshoots could coincide with that.

Disney execs feel the tone is off

From the get-go, Rogue One was being marketed as part gritty war film, part heist movie. Did Disney have a change of heart after viewing the initial cut?

The Hollywood Reporter’s source stated “This is the closest thing to a prequel ever. This takes place just before A New Hope and leads up to the 10 minutes before that classic film begins. You have to match the tone!”

This is the first solid confirmation we have that the last moments of Rogue One will lead right into A New Hope. In the supposed panic over the reshoot, it seems that most people missed this relevant intel. So whatever changes that need to be done might have to do with the ending, rather than the story as a whole, to match the style and tone of A New Hope for continuity.

Historically, most of Disney’s live-action movies are four-quadrant attractions. This means they appeal to both sexes, as well as the under-25 and over-25 age demographic. In contrast, a war film generally appeals to a male audience. The source further claims the reshoot seek to add “lightness and brevity” to the finished film. Maybe the current cut is too testosterone-driven, and Disney thinks it lacks the grand epic feel of Star Wars.

But more importantly, the ending itself could be too gritty or tragic, like Saving Private Ryan. What if the whole Rogue One team gave up their lives to transmit the battlestation plans to Princess Leia? Even in their darkest moments, the Star Wars films sought to add hope to the end scene, and the additional shots seek to rectify that. Instead of Jyn and crew gazing into the sunset while dying from their battle wounds, Disney might have ordered a happier ending to hit that four-quadrant sweet spot.

The release date will push through

While the initial NY Post report made it sound all doom and gloom, follow-on reporting by other outlets confirmed that the movie launch is unaffected. Rogue One’s December 16 release stays on target. Even The Force Awakens needed three weeks of extensive reshoots during post-production, and it still launched as planned.

Since Rogue One is the first standalone film, it’s also the first that doesn’t have to follow the Star Wars formula. Fans are already speculating whether there will be an opening crawl, an end-wipe, or the familiar musical score.

forest whitaker rogue one.jpg“If you keep reshooting, what will it become?”

What if Rogue One goes further than that? When it was originally shot, the lead star for the Han Solo film hasn’t been cast. Now that Alden Ehrenreich landed the role, the reshoots could potentially add him as a cameo, or even in a post-credits preview for the next anthology film. The Marvel franchise is famous for its cameos and post-credits surprises. And it also happens to be owned by Disney.

Regardless, we know that director Gareth Edwards and crew will be quite busy in the next few weeks. Whether their hard work pays off will be determined in December. And we can expect to know the full story behind today’s drama by next year.


While the Rogue One squad scrambles, check out the latest update on the Han Solo spinoff!

Rogue One Trailer: The Frame-by-Frame Lowdown

There was a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of geeks cried out in awe, and were suddenly silenced.

The Rogue One trailer must have happened.

This is it. After months of endless speculation, the salivating masses of Star Wars fans finally got their first fill of Rogue One. And it’s beyond everything we ever hoped, and more.

Let’s take a look.

The opening shot shows Felicity Jones’ character Jyn Erson being led down a familiar ancient temple / hangar.

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As her list of crimes are read out, everything from forging Imperial documents to aggravated assault and resisting arrest, we see the group grilling her:

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Yes, that’s THE 1977 Mon Mothma, in the operations rooms of  Yavin IV!

Mon Mothma says Jyn is aggressive, reckless, and undisciplined, to which she replies, “This is a rebellion isn’t it? I rebel.” And the next shots show exactly that.

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After a montage of rebelling and kicking hapless stormtrooper ass, the sirens blare. We get our first look at Ben Mendelsohn’s villain.

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Is he a Grand Admiral? An ISB bigwig? The white opposite of Lando Calrissian? Who cares, that immaculate cape, chilling stare and mindblowing background  all combine to say “I have manners, impeccable taste, and a penchant for blowing up entire planets.”

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Next we see the height of the Empire, with stormtroopers strutting, citizens cowering and a new Hasbro toy lumbering down the streets.

But not everyone bows down. Here we see Jyn and a fellow saboteur running from something, along with the stripped down droid from earlier in the trailer:

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Why are they running? Because stormtroopers. And tan troopers.

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And don’t forget the famous Shadow Trooper, finally seen in action. (Side note: maybe black armor isn’t the best when fighting in jungle terrain).

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Our heroes fight back, blowing up a landing barge that looks closer to Kylo Ren’s shuttle than a Sentinel-class craft:

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In the aftermath, we see Mr. Immaculate Cloak striding down the body-strewn battlefield. While Tarkin and his ilk lead from the polished floors of the Death Star, this is one admiral who isn’t afraid to go down in the trenches and get dirty.

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But the carnage wasn’t limited to stormtroopers. As Jyn and her misfits rush through the tropics, they come face to face with the Empire’s towering monstrosities. We finally get to see the famous walking artillery in a landscape other than Hoth! (And with a shitty tan camouflage at that. Did the Empire really think they will blend in with those trees?)

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As Forest Whitaker asks, “If you continue to fight, what will you become?”, we see a final shot of Jyn disguised as either a TIE pilot, Death Star gunner, technician, or random guy who cleaned the detention-level toilets.

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A lot is riding on Rogue One. A billion dollars worth, to be exact. As the first Star Wars film to venture outside the main story arcs and John Williams, it will be the benchmark to see if further Star Wars stories can be spun independent of the trilogies.

But judging by this trailer alone, it looks like the dark lords of Disney already have a winner on their hands. This film is even more Star Wars than the The Force Awakens. Take a look at the many homages and incredible attention to detail packed in that one and a half-minute trailer.

For instance, that famous shadowtrooper mug has its roots in the EU’s dark trooper and Ralph McQuarrie’s original concepts:

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They even got the Star Destroyer right. The Imperator Mk 1-class in the opening scene of A New Hope was slightly different from its later sister ships in ESB and Return of the Jedi:

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And finally, take a look at the Yavin scene. Not even 20 seconds into the trailer, we’re already treated to several cameos: the bushy bearded General Dodonna, complete with the iconic Rebel roulette table that doubles as a countdown timer! Seeing this scene alone, approximately 500 geeks fainted.

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Despite being billed as a different, grittier version of Star Wars outside of the main stories, Rogue One may end up as being the most Star War-sy film outside of A New Hope. 

And that’s a good thing.