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Friday, August 5, 2016

Is 'Rogue One' in the Same Boat as 'Suicide Squad'?

Those nasty Rogue One rumors just keep on coming. In June, we heard that Disney was hurriedly ordering reshoots after watching a dissatisfied cut of the film, and this week, THR reported that writer Tony Gilroy had taken charge of the recently-finished reshoots and would be "supervising" the postproduction process. 
These behind-the-scenes shakeups are worrisome given that Suicide Squad, which opened in theaters today, had very similar troubles (also detailed by THR) that seem to have contributed to the film's scathing reviews. Does this mean that Rogue One is doomed to face the wrath of critics and join Suicide Squad as one the most anticipated, yet ultimately divisive, movies of 2016? 

It's worth taking a look at the parallels between the films. They both center on a group of dangerous misfits – played by a talented, racially diverse cast – tasked with a top-secret mission. Both films have noticeably dark tones, and both have suffered expensive reshoots because their studios reportedly wanted to lighten them up. 
For many big-budget action flicks in recent years (especially in the superhero genre), there's a conflict between the director's vision of the film and the studio's need to create something that panders to audiences and fits in with the rest of the cinematic universe. Those conflicts seem to have reached new heights with Suicide Squad, 2015's critically-despised Fantastic Four, and now with Rogue One.

But we can't assume that this pattern of "director shows film to studio, studio changes film, film ends up terrible" will repeat in this particular scenario. Even if all these rumors about Rogue One are true, Disney has a pretty solid reputation when it comes to their big releases; they're motivated to end the year with yet another critically-acclaimed box office smash (following Zootopia, The Jungle BookCaptain America: Civil War) and prove that they can make more than one great Star Wars movie. 
In comparison, Suicide Squad was in much worse hands from the start. Warner Bros. struck out twice with its first two DC Extended Universe installments, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Whether you love them or hate them, there's no denying that both movies are polarizing, which isn't exactly a great quality. Looking back on it, it's not too surprising that Suicide Squad ended up the same way, even if it did have a spectacular marketing campaign. 
As THR admits in their own article about Rogue One's secret drama, this sort of thing has happened to Star Wars in the past. The Original Trilogy (AKA the trilogy that people actually like) endured significant reshoots and behind-the-scenes shakeups, but it's still known today as three of the most well-made, commercially successful, and culturally influential films of all time. 

At the very least, we should follow one of Rogue One's principle themes and have hope that everything will turn out okay. What do you think of the Rogue One's behind-the-scenes drama? Tell me in the comments or tweet to @SithObserver, and may the Force be with you all. 

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