An intriguing trailer has launched for a new sci-fi movie series titled The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One (or, vice versa, as Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child) from Australian filmmaker Shane Abbess. Described as an «adrenaline-fueled sci fi adventure», the story takes place in the future in a time of interplanetary colonization, about a father who has to rescue a young woman amidst a global crisis. The full cast includes Kellan Lutz, Daniel MacPherson, Isabel Lucas, Luke Ford, Rachel Griffiths, Temuera Morrison, Bren Foster, Dwaine Stevenson, and Teagan Croft. As much as I was expecting this to look cheesy or too low budget, it actually looks pretty damn good, with some impressive visual effects and an interesting story. I don’t know if the movie is any good, but I’m very curious about checking this out. ›››
One day, we will run out of news concerning what could have been in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But that day is not today. Star Wars fans are as interested in the making of these movies as they are in the movies themselves, which makes the production of Rogue One so very fascinating – the first of the saga’s spin-off movies was massaged into many different positions during development and the alternate versions make for a great game of “What if?”.
That’s what makes actor Riz Ahmed‘s audition tape for the film especially interesting – he’s literally trying out several completely different characters for director Gareth Edwards.
You can see chunks of the audition tape in the video below, which also explains that Ahmed (who plays Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook in the film) sent in a number of tapes, each with a unique take on the character. Since we know Bodhi was in flux more than any other central character, this makes sense. As a bonus: Ahmed appears to be having a grand old time.
When I spoke to Ahmed last year, he described the audition process in detail, explaining that he sent in so many different takes that Edwards had to literally ask him to stop:
I don’t think you can plan to be in something like this. It always happens by accident. What happened is, [director] Gareth Edwards comes from a British indie movie background as well, so he knows my work from that circuit and I know Monsters and stuff like that, his work before Godzilla. He contacted me and said, “Look, come and audition for this role, I’m doing this Star Wars standalone movie.” I didn’t even know they were doing standalone movies. It wasn’t something I was tracking and following or knew existed. The role was very different from what it is now. It was a lot smaller. Different name, different guy, different relationship to the others. Once I came on board and we started working, it evolved a lot by the end of the shoot into what it is now.
But yeah, he knew my work from those indie movies and that’s why he asked me to audition. And I started spamming him with auditions. I went totally overboard. I sent him fourteen different takes in three days. He emailed me and said, “Please stop emailing me.” And I thought, okay, I’ve screwed this up. Then a month later he calls and says, “You’ve got the role. Stop emailing me auditions!”
Today’s other piece of trivia arrives on our doorstep courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, who discovered that the planet Dantooine was going to play a role in the movie at one point. However, cutting it out (and not building the set) meant saving some production money to spend elsewhere. As Edwards explains:
We did a few things to save money and one of them was they go to a Rebel base in the first half of the film, then go off on their adventure, and the second half of the film they return to a Rebel base. It used to be that the first half of the movie was not on Yavin it was Dantooine.
As you may remember, Dantooine is the name of the planet Princess Leia gives Grand Moff Tarkin when he demands to know the location of the rebel base in the original Star Wars. As you may also remember, the Imperials discover that there was a rebel base on Dantooine, a peaceful, rural planet, but it had been abandoned. In other words, Rogue One was going to actually feature the Rebellion pulling up stakes and moving from Dantooine to Yavin IV. While pretty cool, this is an easy cut – it’s not necessary at all to the plot!
Rogue One is out for digital download today and hits Blu-ray and DVD on April 4, 2017.
The post Watch Riz Ahmed’s ‘Rogue One’ Audition and Learn Which Planet Was Cut From the Movie appeared first on /Film.
With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story available for digital download, we have been learning a lot more about John Knoll‘s original pitch for the film, Gary Whitta‘s original screenplay, and the pre-reshoots cut of Gareth Edwards‘ movie. The latest bit of trivia gives us some insight on who Riz Ahmed‘s character, Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook, was in the original plans for the movie.
Let’s run down the details about Riz Ahmed’s original Rogue One character and how/why the story evolved to what we saw on the big screen.
EW has learned that Riz Ahmed’s original character was “a crazed, imprisoned engineer named Bokan.” When the actor signed on for the film, it was to play a much different character than we see in the final film. He says:
“His name was Bokan, and he was actually Saw Gerrera’s engineer, living on a planet with a strong electromagnetic field, which meant that electronics were never working. He was actually an Imperial engineer who had been kidnapped and kind of had Stockholm Syndrome. He had been living there for so long, he kind of lost it, like Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse Now.”
Or perhaps like Samuel L Jackson’s character in the Apocalypse Now-inspired Kong: Skull Island.
In the earlier screenplays, Jyn Erso and her rebel team initially wrecked their U-Wing while trying to track down Bokan, who had knowledge about a Death Star exploit and was wanted by both sides of the war. Luckily, the ship crash-landed on the same moon that Gerrera was using as a hideout, where they had been trying to extract the desired information from the former Imperial engineer. This probably explains why Saw Gerrera’s alien Interrogation creature Bor Gullet had a bigger role before the reshoots.
Originally Gerrera operated out of a ship graveyard, which is part of the reason the Empire never found him. In this early version of the film, the rebel crew took an Imperial shuttle from the wreckage and used it through the end of the film. In the final version, you see this scene happen on Eadu. Director Gareth Edwards explains how the character evolved through the process:
“With Riz, we needed a person that was stuck in this life with the bad guys. He had gotten there by accident and the only way he could survive was to play along. Deep down he had guilt. He was going to be one of those characters that was going to help turn this around. He wasn’t brave at the start but found bravery in the end. Even though we changed the literal character, that underlining concept stayed intact. We thought it would be stronger if he wasn’t Saw Gerrera’s guy, but instead he knew Galen. Those sorts of things changed, but the desire for them feels similar.”
And we know that the ending of the film was dramatically reworked by extensive reshoots that changed the geography and even deaths of the Rebel crew.
Bodhi originally died during the sequence where the former Imperial runs around with the plug (if you’ve seen the movie, you know the one). Apparently, there is even a one-minute long, one-shot take that was left on the editing room floor featuring “Bodhi ducking and diving from Stormtroopers” as he tried to “get the plug to where he wanted it to go while Chirrut and Baze were kind of flanking him.” Sounds like a cool sequence that, sadly, we’ll probably never see. At the end of it, Bodhi was shot and severely injured, forced to crawl his way back onto the ship before his triumphant final moment.
This all makes sense. In the final film, I do feel like Saw Gerrera and Bodhi Rook both feel like the remnants of previous drafts and ideas and never quite realized to their fullest. At least now I know why.
The post Riz Ahmed Signed on to ‘Rogue One’ to Play a Completely Different Character appeared first on /Film.
One of the most thrilling moments in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is when you realize the ending of the movie is leading right up to the opening of Star Wars: A New Hope. There was something very exciting about seeing the moments that led to the chase that opened the movie which started it all, helped immensely by that added Darth Vader sequence.
The only problem with the Rogue One ending is that the credits roll, and if you felt the urge to watch A New Hope immediately, you had to wait until you got home. But now you can experience the seamless transition between the ending of Rogue One and the beginning of A New Hope thanks to an easy but inevitable mash-up of the two movies.
Watch the Rogue One ending lead into the opening of A New Hope below.
This is perhaps one of the easiest edits someone could have made, but even so, the transition between the two movies could maybe be a little smoother. The fade to black between the films feels a little clunky, though it’s just cool to see how perfectly these movies fit together. Even those who were lukewarm on Rogue One as a whole found the climax to be truly riveting, and this sequence leading up to the opening moments of A New Hope were a big part of that.
Fans won’t have to wait much longer to relive Rogue One in its entirety with the film available on digital download this Friday, March 24 (followed by a Blu-Ray/DVD release on April 4). We have some more stuff from our recent visit to Industrial Light & Magic coming later this week to coincide with the release of the movie, so stay tuned.
The post VOTD: Watch the ‘Rogue One’ Ending Lead into ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ Uninterrupted appeared first on /Film.
One of the biggest departures from Star Wars tradition that was taken by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the lack of an opening crawl to set the stage for the movie to come. However, even though we didn’t see one in the final movie, we did find out that there was once an opening crawl that was part of the original draft of the script.
The existence of a Rogue One opening crawl was further confirmed just a few days ago when director Gareth Edwards confirmed in a Reddit AMA that Gary Whitta wrote one in the first draft of the script. But he said that we would have to bug him to find out what it entailed. Thankfully, someone was able to follow up with the writer, and now we have some clarification on the matter.
UPDATE: Apparently writer Gary Whitta’s memory isn’t what it used to be. It turns out the Rogue One opening crawl did exist in the first draft of the script, but was removed when he did revisions. He reached out to us on Twitter to clarify his previous comments. In addition, we got some brief details about what that opening crawl entailed. Our original story follows, and you can find the update with details on the opening crawl after the jump.
io9 spoke to Gary Whitta not long after Gareth Edwards gave everyone that trailer to follow, and Whitta clarified, “It was never actually in a draft of the script. It’s just in a document, like a story document that I wrote.” Then he went on to explain how the discussion about the opening crawl (and some of the other traditional elements of Star Wars) went behind the scenes
“Literally in the very first days working on the film we were asking ourselves those questions. Like ‘What makes these :standalones different? Do they have opening crawls? Do they have John Williams music? Do they have all the same furniture and trappings? Do you do the Kurosawa wipes? Or do find your own language?’
Initially Gareth, a hardcore Star Wars fan, was like ‘You’ve gotta have an opening crawl.’ We wanted to have all the things we grew up with. And so as an experiment, purely because it was fun to try and write one, I wrote one. But it was never in a script. It was never actually in a draft.”
It’s likely we’ll never see that opening crawl, but even if we did, it would only offer insight into an entirely different version of the movie. There were some drastic changes made to the story that Gary Whitta wrote, as well as the first draft of the script, when Chris Weitz was brought in to write a second draft. There were characters in the final movie that weren’t even part of Whitta’s original draft, including the favorite duo Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus.
In the end, Whitta thnks that Rogue One is better without an opening crawl anyway:
As we started to embrace the idea more and more that these films were going to be different, and they didn’t have to be beholden to all the same laws as the original films, we were like, ‘You know? We’re better off without it.’ And I understand there are some people out there that really want things the way they want them, and they’re upset there isn’t an crawl. But I feel like it was a really great way to make the bold statement at the very beginning, literally the very first frame of the film: this is not like the Star Wars films you’ve seen before.
As we’ve mentioned before, the opening crawl would have had a somewhat difficult time setting the stage when you consider the fact that the first sequence takes place roughly 15 years before the events that follow in the rest of the film. So much time passes between the opening scene and the rest of the movie that the opening crawl wouldn’t really be able to tell us anything that helps set up the movie like the rest of the Star Wars saga installments.
UPDATE: For those curious, a reader reached out to us with details from an appearance Gary Whitta made at the Salt Lake City Comic Con FanX this past weekend. Whitta wouldn’t give any specific details about the content of the opening crawl, but he did reveal that in addition to having three paragraphs that end with ellipses as you would expect, it did have the exact same word count as the opening crawl from A New Hope.
We’ll have more on Rogue One soon as the press heats up for the film’s digital release on March 24 followed by the Blu-ray and DVD release on April 4.
The post New Details on ‘Rogue One’ Opening Crawl Emerge Even Though Gary Whitta Forgot About It appeared first on /Film.
They thought a VFX designer could never be a director, but Gareth Edwards proved everybody wrong.
As a teenager, Gareth Edwards had a very specific plan on how he’d make it big. It was pretty simple. He’d just do what his idol, Steven Spielberg, did. He recapped this list in the beginning of his SXSW keynote earlier this week: «I made cheap films with my father’s camera, check. I went to university, check. I made a professional short film, check.» The overwhelming difference in the two directors’ paths really came in the final step. «I sent it to Hollywood producers and got given a very polite rejection letter.»
The road to Rogue One did not start off easy for Edwards. «I was twenty-one years old, just finished film school and felt like I sort of had just wasted my life,» he remembered. «But one of the things that happens at film school, is of course, that you meet other film students. One of the guys that I was living with studied this brand new thing called ‘computer animation.’ It was very clear back then, Jurassic Park had just come out in cinemas, that this was going to be the future of filmmaking.»
With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hitting home video in just a few weeks and director Gareth Edwards in attendance at SXSW for a different engagement, we were able to meet up for a spoiler-filled chat about the film’s third act. You may have already read our conversation about why the ending of the film was changed, but we also spoke about the Rogue One ending and that final battle’s giant body count…and how he thought he’d never get away with it.
Since everyone’s seen the movie now, let’s just talk about the ending. When in the process did you decide to kill everybody? Because you kill everybody in the ending.
[Laughs] The first ever screenplay by Gary Whitta…we were chatting about this and it was clear we were going to kill a lot of people. Potentially everyone. We just felt “There’s no way they’re going to let us do this. So for this first draft, let’s try to do the best version we think of with Jyn and Cassian surviving.” That what was written. And then [Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy read it and at the end she said “Shouldn’t they all die?” And we said “Yeah, of course. We’d love to, but can we do that?” And she said “We can do anything we want.”
And so I spent the next couple of years waiting for someone to say “Actually, you know, they should survive.” And no one ever said it. I remember…I think it was [Disney CEO] Bob Iger, when they did the first announcement of the cast of the film on stage and behind them was every main actor who was in the movie. There’s like nine of them or something and I was just thinking “Oh my God, every one of those characters is going to die.” I don’t know another Disney film that does that. I’m quite proud of it, because it feels responsible. It’s responsible storytelling because it’s a massive war and war is not a great thing. You don’t come out of it as a better person, typically. The world might be better, but it usually destroys you. Showing that it comes at a price, this sort of…when we fight each other like this, it’s not a good thing. But it doesn’t make a great film. Utopian peace doesn’t make for interesting movies.
When I last spoke to you, we had only seen the two big extended sequences, including the battle on Jedha, which reminded me of something out of Battle of the Algiers. The ending is a very different kind of action scene, more like a WWII-era Hollywood movie, a stirring portrait of sacrifice and heroism and so on. How’d you go about building this final battle? Any influences?
World War II films were a big influence. The inter-cutting in the third act, the triangle that’s going on, was trying to do… One of the best third acts in any film is, I think, Return of the Jedi. You have this ground battle, you have this really epic, really dynamic space battle, and in the middle of it all, you have this sort of soulful confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader. We wanted to find that sort of dynamic. So the ground troops are riffing off Vietnam warfare visuals and films like Apocalypse Now, stuff I grew up loving. The space battle was, to be honest, [inspired by] Return of the Jedi, one of the high benchmarks for space battles. And the high altitude confrontation between Jyn and Krennic was a more personal version of all these big events.
Having three things to intercut between is a lifesaver. Because just as one starts to get a little bit…as you’re slightly tired of one, you jump to another one. And you just keeping cutting around to everybody, telling everyone’s story. You can cut out all of the boring bits that way. I don’t know how you do action scenes now without doing parallel action. The first film I made [Monsters] had two characters in it and we never cut to anyone but those two characters. It was such a restriction to make a film that way. It was a nightmare. It’s a cheap trick of filmmakers, to keep having things to cut to when one thing gets a little uninteresting.
You can read the rest of our conversation, which focuses on the original ending and how it was reshot, over here. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits Blu-ray and DVD on April 4, 2017.
The post Exclusive: Gareth Edwards on the ‘Rogue One’ Ending and How He Got Away With It appeared first on /Film.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards is a SXSW regular at this point. His first film, Monsters, premiered at the fest years ago. The first footage from his Godzilla screened there alongside a repertory screening of the 1954 original. And now, he’s back in Austin, Texas to deliver a keynote speech…and to answer questions about the upcoming home video release of the first Star Wars spin0ff.
I had a few precious minutes to speak with Edwards, and our spoiler-filled chat did include why the original ending of the film didn’t quite work, necessitating those reshoots everyone couldn’t stop talking about last year.
Can you talk about the original ending? We know there were reshoots, but I’d like know what wasn’t working and what you actually set out to change.
I think the main thing that changed at the end…what used to happen, and you can get a sense of this in the early trailers, the transmission tower for the plans was separate from the main base on Scarif. To transmit the plans, they had to escape and run along the beach and go up the tower. In cutting the film, it just felt too long. We had to find ways to compress the third act, which was quite long as it was. And one real, fast, brutal solution was to put the tower in the base, so they don’t have to run across the beach and do all of that stuff to get there. That became a decision that eliminated the shots you see in the trailer of the back of Cassian and Jyn and the AT-ATs. That was some of the reinvention that happened. It was all to do with compression.
As cool as many things are, and they really are, you can’t outstay your welcome. We’ve all done it. We’ve all sat in a movie and even if you love a film, there’s that moment where you want to look at your watch, or you feel like “Okay, I hope it ends soon.” You don’t want the audience thinking that. You don’t want them to lag. If you feel that when you watch something back, you need to find a way to tighten it somewhere. That was a big win for a compression.
When the original Star Wars movies finally hit Blu-ray a few years ago, my friends literally threw a party to eat and drink and watch the deleted scenes. Are we ever going to see this alternate ending? Will it take a few decades?
That’s a decision way above me! I don’t think there’s any plans to do it
So don’t get too excited about ever seeing the alternate ending in its entirety. Maybe for Star Wars‘ 75th anniversary. The rest of our interview, which touches on the film’s third act and why certain characters had to die, will arrive tomorrow.
For now, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits Blu-ray and DVD on April 4, 2017.
The post Exclusive: Why the Original ‘Rogue One’ Ending Didn’t Work, According to Director Gareth Edwards appeared first on /Film.