It's no secret that Lucasfilm has been plagued with production troubles on their Star Wars spinoff movies. But it's only just been revealed that they recruited a "murderer's row" of screenwriters to help on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
In a new interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, About a Boy and Operation Finale filmmaker Chris Weitz revealed that he and many other writers worked on drafts of Rogue One, in addition to uncredited director Tony Gilroy coming on board to redo the film's final act.
"Gary Whitta did the first draft and then I came in and did a couple of drafts and then after me came Tony Gilroy, Christopher McQuarrie, Scott Burns, I believe David Arndt had some notes on it, and then Tony Gilroy came back on again. And it’s astonishing to me that, for me, from my point of view, how well it turned out, given how many writers were working on it any one time," explained Weitz.
There were rumors of Mission: Impossible - Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie working on the film, but many assumed they were just that after Gilroy came on board. And it should be noted that Weitz was likely referring to Michael Arndt and not David Arndt, given that Michael was credited as a writer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Weitz went on to give credit to Gareth Edwards for bringing the entire film together, though he did say that he helped with the movie's bold decision to kill off all the main characters.
"I thought they should all die," Weitz said. "I think it occurred to Gary and Gareth at one point, but they thought, 'Oh, Disney will never let us do it.'"
He went on to explain the victorious moment when they finally convinced the top brass that the protagonists deaths was the best decision to make.
"I was in a meeting with Alan Horn, Gareth, Kathleen Kennedy and Kiri Hart from the [Star Wars] story department and Alan kinda said, ‘Well… I can see how they probably all ought to die because we don’t see them in Star Wars and inside I was just jumping for joy," Weitz said. "Which is a bit gruesome, I suppose, but I thought, this was amazing, we get to do this thing. I think it was important to convey the true seriousness of the galactic civil war."
It's crazy to hear that all of these people put their stamp on the highly successful Star Wars spinoff movie. And judging by the fans' reactions to the film, it was all the better for it.