Like so many blockbuster tentpoles, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a major collaborative effort. Director Gareth Edwards and screenplay writer Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass) and treatment writer Gary Whitta may have started off with one sort of vision for the film, but reports from Rogue One's production suggests that there were some creative changes made to soften a dark, war story into something more aligned with the tradition of a Star Wars adventure.
There was clear creative change made when the Rogue One screenplay was handed over to Tony Gilroy (The Bourne series) for rewrites and reshoots - and apparently, the work was extensive enough to award Gilroy a major payday.
THR reports that Gilroy will make $5 million for his work on Rogue One. The trade cites the payment as coming from Gilroy's combined work on rewrites, reshoots, post-production and even a re-shaping the ending of the movie. It's said that he was originally brought in to punch-up dialogue and scene progression, but has sine had to take a much larger role, working alongside Gareth Edwards.
This once again begs the question of just how much of Edwards' film is left in the version of Rogue One that we'll see in theaters. We here at Comicbook.com recently wrote about how the film's marketing and tone has changed since the first ominous and meditative teaser, but since tickets are selling like crazy, it seems that whatever theatrical cut Lucasfilm settled on is the one Star Wars fans are best responding to.
...Then again, few could've known back when Rogue One started production that The Force Awakens would catapult Star Wars to $2 billion dollar heights. That kind of money changes everything.
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits US theaters December 16, 2016. Directed by Gareth Edwards, it's the first of the new standalone features from Lucasfilm and Disney, which take place outside the core "Skywalker Saga" of films noted by an Episode number. Rogue One tells the story of the small band of rebels that were tasked with stealing the plans to the first Death Star. The story spins directly off the opening crawl from the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. In that crawl, it read: "Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet."
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be in theaters on December 16th.