When Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Ron Howard would be replacing Chris Miller and Phil Lord as director of Solo: A Star Wars Story, fans of the blockbuster franchise felt a certain sense of deja vu.
A similar – although not quite as extreme – situation happened on the previous Anthology movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with Lucasfilm bringing in Oscar-nominated filmmaker Tony Gilroy to work alongside Gareth Edwards, overseeing extensive reshoots and the post-production process.
Speaking to The Moment with Brian Koppelman podcast (via THR), Gilroy has now spoken for the first time about his work on the movie, and his efforts to salvage the “mess” that Lucasfilm had found themselves in.
“It was just a mess and fear that they gotten themselves in,” said Gilroy. “I’ve never been interested in Star Wars ever, so I have no reverence for it whatsoever. I was unafraid of that. And they were in such a swamp – they were just in terrible, terrible trouble, that all you could do was improve their position.”
“If you look at Rogue, all the difficulty with Rogue, all the confusion of it, and all the smart people and all the mess, and in the end when you get in there, it’s actually very, very simple to solve,” he continued. “Because you sort of go, this is a movie where, ‘Folks, just look. Everyone is going to die.’ So it’s a movie about sacrifice.”
Gilroy refused to be drawn on rumours that he served as “ghost director” on Rogue One, but he did suggest that his work on the movie was extensive, stat that: “I came in after the director’s cut. I have a screenplay credit in the arbitration that was easily won.”
The filmmaker also dismissed the idea of returning to the galaxy far, far away for his own movie, adding: “No, I don’t like it. It doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t think Rogue is a Star Wars movie in a lot of ways. It’s a Battle of Britain film.”
Hopefully Lucasfilm will have been equally successful salvaging Solo: A Star Wars Story. We’ll find out when it opens in cinemas next month.
From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sees Gareth Edwards (Monsters) directing a cast that includes Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Diego Luna (Milk), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises), Donnie Yen (Ip Man), Jiang Wen (Let the Bullets Fly), Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), Alan Tudyk (Con Man), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler), Genevieve O’Reilly (Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith), Jimmy Smits (Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones), James Earl Jones (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope), Valene Kane (The Fall), Alistair Petrie (The Night Manager), Warwick Davis (Star Wars: Episode IV – Return of the Jedi), Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones) and Jonathan Aris (Sherlock).