‘Rogue One’ Star Riz Ahmed in Talks for ‘Venom’ Spin-Off, May or May Not Be Carnage

Riz Ahmed - Carnage - Venom Cast

Sony Pictures is getting their Spider-Man franchise spin-off Venom ready to go. Tom Hardy has been attached to the project as the title character for some time now, and Gangster Squad director Ruben Fleischer will be behind the camera for the film that is said to have no ties to the Spider-Man played by Tom Holland in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now the supporting cast is starting to fill out.

Reports have indicated that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Riz Ahmed is in talks to play a popular Marvel Comics character in Venom. While the character isn’t being disclosed at this time, there is word on which character it won’t be. Find out more about Venom cast addition below.

Variety was the first to report on the Venom cast looking to recruit Riz Ahmed. While their reports doesn’t mention which character he would play if a deal comes together, The Hollywood Reporter has heard from sources that it won’t be Carnage, even though that’s the role in the film that Sony Pictures has been looking to cast. Carnage was supposed to be the villain and Riz Ahmed is said to have been considered for the role, but the script has changed since then and now he’s reportedly up for a different role.

Meanwhile, Jeff Sneider from The Tracking Board says his sources are torn as to what role Riz Ahmed would play, with one trustworthy source saying it will be Carnage. So it sounds like it could go either way.

Reporter Justin Kroll at Variety indicated on Twitter that Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones) and Mathias Schoenarts (The Danish Girl) were also in the running for the role, so if Riz Ahmed somehow isn’t able to make it through negotiations, the studio does have other options at their disposal. Unfortunately, none of those options give us an idea as to who the character they could have played will be if it’s not actually Carnage.

Considering that Spider-Man: Homecoming has already used Vulture and Shocker, not to mention hinting at Scorpion, maybe Venom will venture into different villain territory by bringing someone like Kraven the Hunter or Mysterio into play (especially since there are spin-offs for those characters in the works). Or maybe they’ll dig deep into sci-fi Spider-Man territory by bringing Scarlet Spider into the mix, who is actually a clone of Spider-Man. That sounds pretty far fetched, but Venom is supposed to be a straight-up sci-fi movie, and potentially R-rated, so maybe it’s not too crazy.

Very little is known about Venom at this point, but the script is being written by Scott Rosenberg (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) and Jeff Pinkner (The Dark Tower), with Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach producing the movie along with Sony’s Amy Pascal.

As of now Venom is slated to arrive in theaters on October 5, 2018.

The post ‘Rogue One’ Star Riz Ahmed in Talks for ‘Venom’ Spin-Off, May or May Not Be Carnage appeared first on /Film.


This Week In Trailers: Dear Coward on the Moon, Patti Cake$, Long Strange Trip, Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter, WHITNEY ‘Can I Be Me’

Green Band Trailer

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we take a look at a little indie that could, get to know a different kind of white rapper, start spinning like a dervish in the parking lot with other hippie chicks, stand with mouth agape at some schlocky sci-fi, and remember Whitney Houston through the eyes of the director who brought us Kurt & Courtney.

Patti Cake$ Trailer


Man, I love when I get goosebumps when I watch a sizzling trailer like this. Director Geremy Jasper needs to give alms to whatever and whoever put this together because it is tight. Not only do I get where things are going but the flow from one moment to the next is next to fluid. I was inspired, thrilled, excited, and consuming those pull-quotes like affirmations to what I’m feeling as this thing spooled to the end. I don’t know when it’s dropping or where it’s going but I’m in. Completely.

Dear Coward on the Moon Trailer

I just had to share.

I don’t know how I stumbled upon director Carol Brandt’s film but I’m glad I did. The usual polish and high production value of many trailers just doesn’t compare to the earnest vibes that are pouring from every scene we see here. I’m just so enamored by the level of care that was put into making this very tiny movie a lot bigger than it is. The sense of weight and space are fully represented by the moments that are allowed to breathe and stretch out before us. The minimalist music choice in the background is a nice compliment to the ever so soft narration that punctuates our ears every few seconds. I do not know which way the story will go but it matters little when you have a trailer that might as well be a beautiful portrait of how independent movies, the true independent movies, can still move and stir your soul.

Long Strange Trip Trailer

Never listened to one song.

So I think we all someone who is REALLY into The Grateful Dead. My only connection to the band is that I saw Pearl Jam at Soldier Field on July 11th, 1995. The Dead let PJ use their stage and Jerry Garcia would be dead within the month. Director Amir Bar-Lev has a lot of ground to cover, hopefully he’ll be able to answer whether the band is really any good versus good under the right circumstances, but this is a fascinating subculture that, from a sociological point of view, I’m kind of interested in dissecting. I don’t think there are any shattering insights that will bend space and time but this is certainly a documentary that many will appreciate.

WHITNEY ‘Can I Be Me’ Trailer

Crack is whack.

Director Nick Broomfield doesn’t seem to be doing anything more or less than what he did with Kurt & Courtney. It’s not a knock, it’s just saying that what we have here seems to be your run of the mill bio-pic that is going to end real tragically. I’m intrigued enough, though, by what’s here because of how much attention Houston manage to attract in the decades that she was a part of the cultural zeitgeist. The trailer is solid, too, so it has that going for it.


Rogue Warrior Trailer

I just kind of love that this exists out there.

Director Neil Johnson should be given all the kudos for making something that my 13 year-old self would have rented as a VHS way back in the day.

Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included in this column, even have a trailer of your own to pitch, please let me know by sending me a note at Christopher_Stipp@yahoo.com or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp

In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:

The post This Week In Trailers: Dear Coward on the Moon, Patti Cake$ , Long Strange Trip, Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter, WHITNEY ‘Can I Be Me’ appeared first on /Film.


Superhero Bits: Wonder Woman Marketing, Thor: Ragnarok LEGO Sets, Rogue Recasting & More

Planet of the Apes Hulk

What would Batman v Superman be like if it were a buddy comedy? Want a chance to be in Ant-Man and the Wasp? Is X-Men: Dark Phoenix looking to recast a younger version of Rogue? Did you know Warner Bros. has actually spent more on Wonder Woman marketing than on Suicide Squad at this same time out from release? Why didn’t Liev Schreiber appear as Sabretooth in Logan? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits.

One fan recut Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as if it were a buddy cop movie like Lethal Weapon.

The big villain for the third season of Supergirl will be introduced in the second season finale airing this month.

Ray Fisher throws some support behind Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman by posing with this Pinkberry advertisement.

There’s an open casting call for talent for Ant-Man and the Wasp, shooting in Atlanta, Georgia starting this summer.

Marvel: Color Your Own is a new app that allows you to color in your the pages of your favorite comic books.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 pulled in over $ 101 million at the international box office in its first weekend.

Lizard Hulk

Comic Book Resources counts down the weirdest alternate versions of The Incredible Hulk from the comics.

Anthony Mackie finished his shooting on Avengers: Infinity War in Scotland as Chris Evans arrived for his.

Continue Reading Superhero Bits>>

Due to the amount of graphics and images included in Superhero Bits, we have to split this post over THREE pages. Click the link above to continue to the next page of Superhero Bits.

The post Superhero Bits: Wonder Woman Marketing, Thor: Ragnarok LEGO Sets, Rogue Recasting & More appeared first on /Film.


CS Interview: Rogue One Production Designer Doug Chiang

CS Interview: Rogue One Production Designer Doug Chiang

CS Interview: Rogue One Production Designer Doug Chiang

Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm just released Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand. To coincide with the release, ComingSoon.net had an exclusive 1-on-1 chat with Doug Chiang, the Rogue One production designer who also developed the visual look of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, as well as the more recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

Click here to order Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on Blu-ray!

ComingSoon.net: So I guess this is signaling the end of a pretty long process for you, because I know you were involved in “Force Awakens” and then went right into this. So how have the last four or five years been treating you?

Doug Chiang: (Laughs) No, it’s actually been really thrilling. I’m just so happy to be back in the “Star Wars” universe. I started working with George on the prequels, I didn’t think there would ever be another opportunity to design for “Star Wars”. And I have to say, working on “Rogue One” was sort of the combination of everything in terms of when I first saw “Episode IV” when I was 15, because I’ve always wanted to do design that would fit into “Episode IV”. And so, “Rogue One” gave me that opportunity. I’m thrilled with that.

CS: Now this was interesting because I know in the prequels, you actually had a little bit of leeway, in the sense that you were so far before the original trilogy that you could kind of come up with some different looks. It was more of an art deco kind of throwback look. But on this one, it’s so close to “A New Hope”. How did you try to keep it contemporary, but also make sure to adhere to that design aesthetic?

Chiang: Yeah, that is a really good question because that’s the question we asked ourselves. We knew “Rogue One” was going to take place right before “Episode IV”. So a majority of our design had to fit seamlessly with “Episode IV”. Their approach was that what percent had to fit. And there’s fewer designs in the sense that you won’t just build the thing. So for instance, like the Yavin hangar. So we saw bits of it in “Episode IV”, but what if George had turned the camera around the other way?

NOTE: in 1st edition of DK Ultimate Visual Guide, this image was improperly credited to Kevin Jenkins.

And so, what it allowed us was to design something that kind of was heavily influenced by “Episode IV” and stayed true to it, but yet it gave us license to open up and expand the design vocabulary a little bit more, while still kind of fitting in. It was a really great approach for us, because one, we knew that the design had to feel as if we were designing a movie, as if we were designing an alternate version of “Episode IV”. But then, we also knew because the film before, there was going to be a small percentage, maybe 20 percent of new designs, and that was going to give us the excuse to bridge that “Episode III” to “IV”, to kind of have that sort of design history lineage, to make sense of all that.

And that’s one of the great things. When I started working on “Star Wars” George said, “You know, we’re going to try something new that we weren’t going to copy old designs.” And it seems like that was kind of the best thing because the process of designing for “Star Wars” was exactly the same. The only difference was the result. But I got to understand how George approached designs for “Star Wars”. And his approach was, really, he created the designs in our design history so that, you know, there are a lot of visual distinctions. Like, “IV”, “V” and “VI” can be easily anchored in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s designs, and “I”, “II” and “III” are like, in the 20’s and 30’s. And so, when you know that, you can then fill in the gaps, you know how to bridge the non-aesthetics.

And so, for “Rogue One” that was really, one of the things was filling in that 20 percent of new, that could really help kind of build out the universe. The designs that we were creating had to have a reason for existing, because in some ways, a lot of the designs don’t exist after “Episode IV”. And so, we had to figure out, well, if we create something that was too fantastic, you know, well, why did it not work? We knew that they had to fit within that timeline, and we also knew we never saw it after “Rogue One”.

And so, the thinking was that, well, maybe this was an earlier version of the—from a manufacturer of the X-Wing. It’s actually, if we’re thinking about “IV”, “V” and “VI” classic design and sort of functional practical designs, flying design, the prequels were more romantic designs, more handcrafted. The E-Wing kind of had a little bit of that. There were elements that were manufactured, but they were elements that were perhaps, you know, handcrafted. And so, it really was obsolete technologies so that it gave us the excuse to kind bridge that. But then, story line wise, universe wise, there was a reason why.


CS: Right. And now, I love the beautiful art books that they came out with for “The Force Awakens” and for this movie. What was a design that you were particularly fond of that didn’t make it through the final approval process?

Chiang: For “Rogue One”? (Laughs) There were actually quite a few. I mean, and a lot of it was driven by sort of, you know, story needs and also aesthetics. Part of the design challenges, you know, we had to push the envelope, you know, explore that gray area of what is “Star Wars”, and sometimes we would go too far and then we’d kind of reign ourselves in. And sometimes, we’ll come up with very interesting designs, that perhaps don’t quite fit or are too extravagant. There were early versions of the space dock, for instance, or Scarif, but it didn’t quite make sense for the story, that it was almost too much technology and too doped up. And then, we found ourselves struggling with, you know, trying to come up with, well, why is this here and what is its purpose? Let’s kind of strip away and see what is the logic of why this, you know, what is its single purpose?

So there’s things like that. Other things we were exploring, you know, like Dantooine Base. That was in the early version of the outline. And unfortunately, we didn’t see it in the final version, but we actually did quite a detailed design really figuring out what it could be. And so, a lot of it was kind of feeding off of really the inspiration of Ralph McQuarrie way back. When George works on these films, he likes to have the designers kind of explore a whole bunch of different ideas and then straight pick the one or two that would end up in the movie.

But there’s all, a whole wealth of designs that never made it into the movies. And one of the first things that we do for “Rogue One”, I took Gareth up to the Lucas Archives. And we went through essentially all those rough Ralph McQuarrie early designs. And there were some really wonderful designs. And then, in particular, there’s one painting that we all gravitated towards, which was an early version of Dantoonie with this grassland and a giant termite mound. And it was not just a striking image, but we felt compelled that, okay, if we’re going to do this, let’s start there and then see how it evolves.


CS: Right. Now it was interesting because I feel like “Force Awakens” kind of steered away from a lot of the stuff from the prequels, but “Rogue One” actually did incorporate some elements like Coruscant and some of those other things. I know fans are actually very high on the idea of seeing more of the prequels, like integrated within the new movies, to be acknowledged. Do you think that we’ll be seeing more from those earlier eras in the “Star Wars” universe in the new films?

Chiang: Yeah, I would hope so, I mean, because they are a part of the design history of “Star Wars” and we felt very strongly that for “Rogue One”, there should be that bridge. When you reflect on the whole design of “Star Wars”, it actually makes the designs for the specific film even more authentic, and in a really grounded reality, so you’re kind of designing with a long history of design. And that’s what I love about “Star Wars” design, is that it is grounded in history.

There is an actual foundation that underlines everything you’re seeing. The audience may never realize that or appreciate that, but it’s all there and it’s part of the homework that we do, because I think it’s very important and is a key component to creating designs that are timeless. And when you look at “Episode IV”, it’s totally in there, in terms of all designs, in terms of the design history, how things fit, why they’ve evolved, why it makes sense. And what it does is, it creates this very immersive world, where there are a lot of questions and you don’t ask those questions because the world seems like it makes sense. George always describes “Star Wars” as like a foreign film, that when you look at a foreign film, there’s so many exotic things in the background, but yet, they’re all just background material. But yet, if you go into it, every piece fits, and that’s what we’re doing for “Star Wars” is we do months of homework in terms of figuring out designing the world itself. And then, ultimately, when it’s presented in the cinema, very little of it is explained, but there is an inherent perfect feeling that you get that it all makes sense because it really does.

CS: I noticed that after “Rogue One”, that I don’t know if you’re still involved in the “Star Wars” universe at Lucas Film. Is there more “Star Wars” in your future?

Chiang: Yes. My role here is, I oversee all the designs for all of the “Star Wars” film franchise, including theme parks, games and films. So I’m very lucky.

CS: Yeah, no, absolutely. Do you think we’ll be able to see some of your work in “Episode VIII”?

Chiang: I hope so. I can’t comment directly.

The post CS Interview: Rogue One Production Designer Doug Chiang appeared first on ComingSoon.net.


Watch Riz Ahmed’s ‘Rogue One’ Audition and Learn Which Planet Was Cut From the Movie

Rogue One Star Wars riz ahmed

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.


Riz Ahmed Signed on to ‘Rogue One’ to Play a Completely Different Character

Riz Ahmed's original rogue one character

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.


VOTD: Watch the ‘Rogue One’ Ending Lead into ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ Uninterrupted

Rogue One Ending

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.


New Details on ‘Rogue One’ Opening Crawl Emerge Even Though Gary Whitta Forgot About It

Rogue One Opening Crawl

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.


How Gareth Edwards Beat the System to Land ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Rogue One’

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.”

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