George Lucas Wants to Retire After Red Tails?
01.18.12 by Ryan
George Lucas, the man fanboys love to hate, is done with the movie business.
Lucas' latest movie, Red Tails, tells an important story about the Tuskegee Airmen's struggle against racism while flying combat aircraft during World War II. Lucas, who spent nearly 20 years getting the movie produced, has already publicly revealed the difficulty in trying to sell it to Hollywood studios, citing that "nobody wanted it" because they didn't "feel there was enough of an audience out there for it." Lucas went ahead and financed the movie himself.
Perhaps the difficulty of making Red Tails, combined with the continued rage that fanboys emit every time Lucas alters one of his Star Wars movies, is the reason he told The New York Times: "I'm retiring. I'm moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff."
Instead of producing or directing huge blockbusters, the Times reports that Lucas will concentrate on more "personal" movies, ones that will be "small in scope, esoteric in subject and screened mostly in art houses", not unlike the experimental movies Lucas made in the 1960s. "Once this is finished, he's done everything he's ever wanted to do," said Rick McCallum, Lucas's producing partner for more than 20 years. "He will have completed his task as a man and a filmmaker."
However, if Red Tails proves to be a success, Lucas already revealed on The Daily Show that he has plans for two more Red Tails (Lucas? A trilogy? Weird...). According to The Times, Lucas addressed the crowd at a a New York screening of the movie, saying that if Red Tails makes enough money, studios would be convinced to finance his planned Red Tails prequel "that Spike Lee's gonna make!" Lee, who was in attendance, yelled from the crowd: "When do we start?"
Lucas then revealed that he'd like director Lee Daniels (Precious) to make a sequel. "If it gets $30 (million) in the first weekend, then those guys get to make their movies without even thinking about it," said Lucas.
Lucas also left an out clause for Indiana Jones 5 movie, so fans hoping for another installment can keep their fingers crossed for that sequel. The fourth Indiana Jones installment, 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was greeted with groans from the fans, particularly in an early sequence where Indy (Harrison Ford) protects himself from a nuclear blast by hiding in a refrigerator. Lucas defended the idea. "The odds of surviving that refrigerator — from a lot of scientists — are about 50-50," Lucas said.
Still, fans bemoaning the "nuke the fridge" moment or getting angry over Lucas letting Greedo shoot first in Star Wars movies seems to be wearing on Lucas. "I think there are a lot more important things in the world [than feuds with fanboys]," said Lucas. "On the Internet, all those same guys that are complaining I made a change are completely changing the movie [with their own edits]. I’m saying: 'Fine. But my movie, with my name on it, that says I did it, needs to be the way I want it.'"
Though all six installments of Star Wars will return to theaters in 3-D,L ucas admitted that Star Wars fans aren't likely to see another trilogy anytime soon. "Why would I make any more when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?"
Red Tails was written by John Ridley (Undercover Brother) and Boondocks writer-artist Aaron Mcgruder and was directed by Anthony Hemingway (HBO's Treme). The cast includes Terrence Howard, Nate Parker, Bryan Cranston, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Method Man, Lee Tergesen, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, Andre Royo, Jesse Williams and Academy Award–winner Cuba Gooding Jr.