Ben Mendelsohn Hints at the ‘Rogue One’ Alternate Versions That Could Have Been
All is right with the galaxy far away: Rogue One has dominated at the box-office, as expected, and earned mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, also as expected. But watching the film, especially in light of the revelations that Lucasfilm ordered massive reshoots that stretched on for weeks, it’s clear that there’s a Rogue One that’s gone unseen. The unused footage from the trailers, Tony Gilroy stepping in with rewrites to the point where he earned a co-writer credit, friction between Lucasfilm and director Gareth Edwards — it all points to an alternate version of the film laying on some Los Angeles editing suite floor.
Ben Mendelsohn confirmed this particular suspicion when he spoke about the process of shooting Rogue One for Collider earlier this week. He spoke at length about the many rolls of unused footage that could be very well cobbled into an alternate cut of Rogue One that’d play quite differently:
I think that Krennic developed sort of along as we went, [the director] had different ideas… He was still thinking of a couple of variations in a lot of things at [the pitch] stage. If you want to talk about alternative takes on things, there’s been quite a few different renderings of this within Gareth’s mind, and I dare say some of it’s been captured on film. So there are different renderings.
We did have multiple, multiple ways of going at any given scenario, we had multiple readings of it. So should they ever decided to, there would be a wealth of ways of approaching these different things. And I know from having seen sort of the crucial kind of scenes throughout it, I know there’s vastly different readings of at least four of those scenes.
Mendelsohn added that “20 or 30” scenes contain “enormous differences” from take to take. Presumably, these are all gathering virtual dust on some tucked-away computer console, waiting for Lucasfilm to stitch them all together for a home video re-released in five, 10, or 20 years from now.