As his latest sci-fi film The Creator hits theaters, Gareth Edwards probably wishes people would stop bringing up his previous work Rogue One, the Star Wars film.
Not because of the film itself (which, let’s not forget, grossed over a billion dollars at the box office), but because of all the talk of rewrites and reshoots surrounding its completion.
Infamously, the biggest change happened after much of the film was shot and creative dissonance arose. Tony Gilroy was hired to work on the script and reportedly directed reshoots to give the film its final form.
Edwards on Rogue One’s tricky conclusion
In conversation with Kim Masters for the KCRW podcast “The Business”Edwards had this to say:
“The things that are out there on the internet about what happened in this movie – the whole thing is so inaccurate.” Tony came in and he definitely did a lot of great work. There is no doubt about that. But we all worked together until the last minute of this film.”
And while rumors have swirled that Gilroy completely oversaw the film’s five-week reshoot, Edwards denies this, citing one of his most iconic moments:
“The very last thing we filmed on the pickup shoot was the corridor scene with Darth Vader. I did all of that.”
Related article: Director Gareth Edwards talks The Creator and artificial intelligence
Edwards on the experience as a whole
Despite the ongoing talk, the filmmaker has no regrets about the experience. Highlight over Variety How happy he was to have worked on a film set in the galaxy far, far away that once inspired him:
“I have to do a Star Wars movie. In that sense, I won the lottery. The idea of someone as privileged as me somehow implies that it was anything other than the amazing experience that it was in some ways – I have no compassion for that person, nor do I want to be human neither.”
However, two things are telling about Edwards’ time on Star Wars, both in hindsight.
Gilroy was hired back last year to work on “Andor,” a story set in the years before Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor met the “Rogue” season. Gilroy has been there since the beginning and is currently (at least he will be able to once the actors’ strike is over since nothing can be filmed at the moment) monitoring the competition. The praise for “Andor” was almost universal.
As for Edwards, he took seven years between films (though he denies he was licking any wounds and instead says he just wanted to make sure he nailed the next film) and was looking with “The Creator” after a process in which he had complete control.
The result was released in cinemas last weekend and so far hasn’t exactly caused a sensation at the box office like “Rogue One”. An original sci-fi film was always going to struggle, although The Creator has grossed just over $14 million domestically (and $32 million worldwide) so far. But with a frugal production budget of $80 million, the film doesn’t have to earn at the level of “Star Wars” to make a profit.