Star Wars: Rogue One Director Reveals He Snuck Away From Godzilla to Meet Lucasfilm
The Star Wars franchise got the disaster treatment in 2016 thanks to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The film broke away from the story of the Jedi and Sith for the first time and instead told a tale about a group of people with nothing to lose, facing certain death in the face for the entire movie. Director Gareth Edwards delivered a similar film just before Rogue One, taking over the Godzilla franchise for Warner Bros. and focusing more on the brave and terrified people than the kaiju himself.
It's easy to see how one film led to another for Edwards, but he was actually still working on Godzilla when he was first asked to meet with Lucasfilm about Rogue One. During an interview with StarWars.com, Edwards told the story of sneaking from one studio lot to the other.
"I remember when I first met with [Lucasfilm's] Kiri Hart at the very beginning of it all, just snuck in for a very secretive meeting," Edwards explained. "I think they were meeting with loads and loads of filmmakers, like it was [when] The Force Awakens was beginning. I don't think anyone had announced the title or anything. We knew there was a Star Wars film happening and probably more to come. At the time I was finishing Godzilla, and they were at Disney, and you can walk from Warner Bros. to Disney in about 10 minutes. I was nervous about telling anyone that I was going for a meeting at Lucasfilm, because if things went well I'd be doing the Godzilla sequel, and so I pretended I had to get some food or something. I just went down and met with Kiri Hart down the road."
As we now know, Edwards didn't end up directing a second Godzilla movie, but he did take on the secretive Star Wars project that went on to become Rogue One. Initially, Edwards was hesitant about the opportunity, because he thought he'd be one of a bunch of directors meeting with Lucasfilm. As it turns out, however, the studio had its eye on him.
"I was really torn," Edwards said of that first meeting. "I wrote back to Kiri [Hart] saying, 'I think this would be an amazing idea for a Star Wars film, but are you seriously going to do this? Or is it just like, spaghetti at the wall kind of stuff?' And she was like, 'No, no, no. This is what we want to do, potentially next.'"
"Then I figured, they're talking to maybe 20 filmmakers and I'm one of them, so I probably won't even make the cut," the filmmaker continued. "I went in for a few more meetings, met with Kathy [Kennedy, Lucasfilm president], and it was all going very well. And then at one point I thought, I'm just going to ask the question just for my own peace of mind. I said, 'How many other filmmakers and directors are you talking to about this?' And they were like, 'Oh, none.' I was thinking, 'Oh, God, are you crazy?' [Laughs] And then for whatever reason, I got to do it."0comments