'Rogue One' Drama: Writer Tony Gilroy Taking on More Duties

Gilroy, an uncredited writer on Disney's upcoming 'Star Wars' film, is "supervising" the edit with input from director Gareth Edwards and was heavily involved in five weeks of reshoots that tackled several issues, including the ending.
Courtesy of Jonathan Olly/LucasFilms
'Rogue One,' starring Felicity Jones and Forest Whitaker, hits theaters Dec. 16.

An unexpected Jedi knight has emerged during the production of the next Star Wars movie. 

Several insiders say Tony Gilroy, an uncredited writer on Disney's upcoming spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, has been empowered to take the lead on postproduction for the Dec. 16 release, even as director Gareth Edwards remains involved in the project.

Gilroy, 59, writer of several Bourne movies and director of The Bourne Legacy and Michael Clayton, became the driving force behind Rogue One's extensive, recently wrapped reshoots, which ran around five weeks. Now he is said to be "supervising" the edit with input from Edwards, who scored the Rogue One job after his 2014 Godzilla reboot impressed Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy. Edwards, 40, remains very much involved and still is the face of the movie, appearing at Star Wars Celebration in mid-July.

One insider painted the Edwards-Gilroy pairing as collaborative, which should be no surprise: Gilroy, who has a relationship with Kennedy's producer husband, Frank Marshall, from the Bourne series, also helped Edwards out during the making of Godzilla.

"There are not two separate editing rooms; they are all in there with their ideas," says one source close to the production. "Tony's a strong force, but they're all working together."

The Gilroy-backed reshoots tackled several issues, according to sources, the ending of the film among them. The Death Star heist project, the first "stand-alone" Star Wars movie to deviate from the seven Episodes released between 1977 and 2015, is said to lead straight into the original Star Wars: A New Hope.

This isn't the first time Gilroy has gone from behind the keyboard to behind the camera. As a writer on 2002's The Bourne Identity, he helped Marshall when the producer took over the film from director Doug Liman.

And none of these developments is likely to spell doom for Rogue One, which is expected to be one of the year’s biggest hits.

In fact, the movie follows Star Wars’ long and storied history of dramatic productions. The original film's cantina scene, where Han Solo faces off with Greedo, was completely revamped during reshoots. Empire Strikes Back’s shoot went so off-schedule and so overbudget that creator George Lucas fired Gary Kurtz, his producer on Star Wars and American Graffiti. And for Return of the Jedi, Lucas installed Richard Marquand as director but actually supervised swaths of the shooting himself.

Disney declined comment on Gilroy's involvement. 

A version this story first appeared in the Aug. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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