'Rogue One' Writer Reveals the Big Problem With Writing a Star Wars Movie
Tony Gilroy doesn't plan on discussing "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" anytime soon.
The screenwriter, who was brought on late in the game to rework parts of the script and oversee reshoots, had briefly mentioned his work on the film during a podcast interview for his new film "Beirut" -- and those quotes went everywhere.
"I think I probably said more than I said even there," he now tells Moviefone. "The 'Star Wars' community -- the interest in it and the people in it -- are so passionate. It's so gigantic, it's so dizzy. And perhaps someday, long from now, someone will get the entire story of what happened, and I'm not sure what the actual value of that will be, but I don't think there's really much here for me to talk about."
This is partly why he feels making a "Star Wars" movie, or any franchise film with a massive following, has become nearly impossible.
Gilroy commends the endurance of Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. As a screenwriter working on a massive blockbuster, the internet -- fueled by a 24/hour news cycle -- and the fans immediately reacting to it, creates the sensation of "33 million live viewers staring over [your] shoulders, constantly in a town square, screaming about everything that's going on while it's happening."
"No one's ever had to do that before. No one's ever had to make movies like this before," Gilroy says. Now bump that to the level of "Star Wars," which comes with legions of followers.
"It's a beautiful thing, it's a passionate thing, it's been an amazing thing, but it makes filmmaking really, really difficult," he remarks.
While he refrained from discussing specifics on "Rogue One," Gilroy recalls the media frenzy surrounding it.
Kennedy and director Gareth Edwards assured everyone that business was usual and nothing major was planned when "Rogue" entered roughly four weeks of reshoots. Reportsthenemerged of major overhauls, with Gilroy saying on the aforementioned podcast that he spent nine months working on the blockbuster.
And actor Ben Mendelsohn mentioned during an interview with Collider that there's practically an alternate version of the movie that didn't make the final cut.
Gilroy then mentioned, about two years after the fact on "The Moment with Brian Koppelman" podcast, that Lucasfilm was in "terrible, terrible trouble" before he was brought in. Those remarks -- that he recalls lasted "two minutes out of an hour conversation" -- "totally blew up."
"Imagine somebody who's online, who is with absolute authority, turning everything that you're writing upside down and they say that's what you're doing," Gilroy describes the process of writing a movie during such media coverage. "And that gets magnified by 28 million people who go, 'Oh my god! That guy must really know what he's talking about, or she must really know what she's saying because look at the authority with which she said it' -- which is nothing!"
Putting it another way, Gilroy says, "The idea of trying to run a marathon while someone's cutting you up to try and figure out what's going on inside your body is just impossible."
It's not lost on this writer that I, too, asked Gilroy about "Rogue One" and his recent comments on the matter.
"Imagine if they had to do this on 'Gone With the Wind,'" he laughs. "It would've been really hard."
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