Movie News

Spike Lee IDs The Director Of George Lucas' RED TAILS!!

Published at: Sept. 25, 2008, 11:17 a.m. CST by merrick

Merrick here...
Spike Lee has revealed who'll direct RED TAILS, George Lucas' long-in-development tale of African American pilots in World War II.
It was like eight men at the roundtable. And two of ‘em, Lee Archer and Roscoe Brown, was the 8th pilots of the Tuskegee Airmen, which I might add, this spring George Lucas is finally doin’ his Tuskegee Airmen film, “Redtails." He’s gonna produce it and a young African- American director, Anthony Hemingway, is gonna direct it. He’s done several episodic TVs, and is a young director so I’m looking forward to that and hopefully “Miracle” with “Redtails” coming’ up will generate more films to show the untold story about the participation.
...says Lee in his interview with Ebert, which can be found HERE!! Awkwardly identified only as "a black director" by Lucas in THIS INTERVIEW out of the UK, Hemmingway comes to the project from a strong TV background, including CSI: NY, CSI: MIAMI, THE WIRE and Sci Fi's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.


Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 25, 2008, 10:44 a.m. CST

    First I guess...?

    by J.B.M.A.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 10:45 a.m. CST

    But seriously

    by J.B.M.A.

    it'll be nice to see something by Lucas not Star Wars or Indy related. Been a while...

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Damn, was hoping for Eastwood.

    by Nice Marmot

    Thank you, goodnight!

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 10:48 a.m. CST

    The dude directed both BSG and The Wire episodes

    by drturing

    fucking A george, give him the budget and ILMs resources and leave him the fuck alone this might be the best thing youve had a hand in for years

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 10:50 a.m. CST

    The only thing "awkward" is Merrick's man-obsession of Lucas

    by Atticus Finch

    Merrick is like the spurned lover Lucas kicked to the curb years ago, the way he always tries to take cheap little pot-shots at Lucas every time his name comes up. His obsession is funny and sad at the same time.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Go Roscoe!

    by FILMFUNK

    This needs to be a Spike Lee joint! Give it the Bamboozled treatment!

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 10:57 a.m. CST

    So Why was Spike Lee cryin' in the first place?

    by KenKRK

    Why was he complaining about films not focusing on black soldiers during WW2, when he himself was already involved in TWO high-profile projects based on the topic?!? He's got the film he directed AND this film that he's co-producing with George freakin' Lucas!!! I could understand if he weren't an established director, but he IS! And these films are happening! So why is he crying like black soldiers were going to continue being excluded from WW2 films?!?

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Jar-Jar Binks

    by BrooseTheScharuk

    I guess this is Lucas' opportunity to not only make another movie about an era he clearly loves, but to also shake off the racist image he developed with characters like Jar-Jar "Stepin Fetchit" Binks. "I'm no racist. See? Not only am I making a whole movie about black people, but I'm even letting one of 'em direct it!"

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11 a.m. CST

    Oh that's good...

    by TooWhippy

    that the movie is being directed by a black director because a white or asian director would never be able to tell this story.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Ah, Dogfights...

    by cuthbert84

    ...I miss that show.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:05 a.m. CST

    BrooseTheScharuk

    by BackRiverCatfish

    In Lucas' defense, which is hard to do recently, he was talking about Redtails before TPM and Jar Jar. He's also dating a black woman.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:08 a.m. CST

    I'

    by fassbinder79

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:10 a.m. CST

    I'm mixed race (black and white)

    by fassbinder79

    I don't see anything wrong with Lucas saying he was choosing "a black director." What he was probably trying to say when he did that was that he knew he wanted an a black filmmaker to tell the story which I appreciate. So he probably looked around for the right person who could understand the point of view of the characters where racial discrimination is concerned. Lucas is tops in my book.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Hopefully ILM will make this look pretty

    by Gungan Slayer

    This project has potential. Remember Lucashaters, George Lucas is not directing or writing the script. He's just the producer, and maybe the "story by" guy. Can't wait to see some awesome dog fights

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:30 a.m. CST

    yeah - wishing this film all the best

    by Mr Gorilla

    I'm a life-long Lucas lover, and this director he's hired has had a hand in some brilliant TV. Let's hope this one realises its potential

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:30 a.m. CST

    KurtLockwood

    by ChildOfMen

    Wait, which Tuskegee are you talking about? This is about the Tuskegee Airmen, but the way you talk about what the gov't did, it sounds more like you're referring to the Tuskegee syphilis study? I would think that is more comparable to the example you're citing than the racism related to the Tuskegee Airmen.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Couldn't be worse than Flyboys.

    by HoboCode

    Has there been a review on here of Miracle at St. Anna?

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST

    This...

    by Bruce Leroy

    Sounds pretty good! Now THIS is cool news! First that excellent interview with Spike Lee and now this! Best of all it's not a remake!

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:55 a.m. CST

    SPIKE LEE SUCKS.....

    by GoodTimeBobby

    they say the best way to comment on a film is to make another...High Noon/ Rio Bravo for example. if Lee thinks the Black Contribution to the wars are under represented in film then he should make his own black war film..not go whining to Clint Eastwood about it. ..and now Lee is like the Jesse Jackson of war films, where you have to go through him to get approval? thats bullshit- he has nothing to do with Red Tails' long road to production?

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Spike Lee and Jar Jar

    by sapno_krei

    I seem to recall an interview with Lee where he denounced the portrayal of Jar Jar Binks in TPM. He admitted he hadn't seen the movie, but he had heard from friends of his who had, and he'd formed a negative opinion of GL as a result. I guess they made nice? Or perhaps it was a brewing controversy that wasn't.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Anyone who directs eps from BSG and the Wire is cool

    by newc0253

    that is all.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Spike Lee is a shit-stirrer...

    by LordPorkington

    He'll flap his mouth about any old crap to get attention.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Was hoping it was a film about spanking...

    by Behemoth

    ...as in chicks...spanking other chicks...throughout the centuries...VERY disappointed in this news.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 12:57 p.m. CST

    MON CALAMARI CIVIL WAR

    by Dude_Diggler

    That was hilarious.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:09 p.m. CST

    GoodTimeBobby

    by ezdz

    Spike Lee did just make a black ww2 film, Miracle at St. Anna

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Lucas needs to not write anything!

    by FILMFUNK

    Just finished Force Unleashed and while it has it's problems with playability it kicks the new Prequel Trilogy in the Jar jars as far as old school Starwars story and atmosphere is concearned!

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:38 p.m. CST

    I saw this movie already

    by Scarecrowruinme

    it had Laurence Fishburne in it and was called the Tuskegee Airmen

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 1:53 p.m. CST

    So he SHOULDN'T be called a black director?

    by Speed Fricassee

    Why should Lucas lie?

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 2:04 p.m. CST

    I Missed The Part With Spike Lee...

    by Frodo T. Baggins

    Seriously Wheres The Mention Of Spike I Hate White People Lee? The Only "Normal" Movie Spike Lee Did Was Inside Man. And Inside Man 2: Man Inside.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Inside Man 2: Side Walls

    by Frodo T. Baggins

    Ok Thats My Favorite

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Doesnt George Lucas Own Slaves?

    by Frodo T. Baggins

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 2:08 p.m. CST

    benditlikelucas...

    by Boo Cocky

    LOL!!

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Starring Hayden Christenson in Blackface

    by Charlie_Allnut

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Lucas has had Redtails in development for decades

    by Arteska

    So he deserves credit for getting this pulled together. As for the reflexive bashing and traffic that ALWAYS comes up whenever Lucas is mentioned in this site (and therefore, he's mentioned a lot) it has become a telltale sign of ignorance and laziness. Prequel bashing is like an internet fart from 1999 that never diffused. The people doing it have seen each of the prequels numerous times and have closets full of new Star Wars toys falling off shelves. The prequels are in fact pretty damn good when you look at them as a whole and those people jumping on "The Force Unleashed" as some kind of second coming should probably acknowledge that for the most part its story and settings would make little to no sense without the prequels. The people that pile on the prequels, the new Indy and Lucas are utterly divorced from the reality of how the originals were perceived by the cognitive elite (now debased to include everyone with an internet connection) in their day or completely ignorant of the sensibilities that inform the very existence of both series. Muppets belching and Chewie tarzan'ing were all clapped and cheered by the same people that go apoplectic over new animation that is today's equivalent of the old Saturday morning Ewok's cartoons. People that clamor for auteur treatment for He-Man, GI Joe and Transformers so the "true subtext" of these properties can be finally realized are comically sad when at the same time they fail to grasp most of what Lucas was doing with his latest movies. Let go of your hate.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Spike IS making a WW2 movie

    by BizarroJerry

    Yeah, Spike Lee IS making a movie involving black soldiers in World War 2. That's kind of why he brought it up. In fact, that's why Ebert's interviewing him. You kind of should have mentioned that, Merrick.<p>And I think it's perfectly fine Spike is saying blacks have been under represented in WW2 films. I think it's true, actually. I mean, how many have films have their been, except for the OTHER Tuskeegee Airmen movie, that show their contribution? It's been sixty years and there have been a LOT of WW2 films. I thought his comment about the levees getting blown up was ridiculous, too, but I think he was on the mark with these comments. Or at least not too far off.<p>So, we've got Lucas producing ONLY and some others writing and directing? That's how it should always be. I'm hoping this turns out to be a good flick.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Hi George

    by hallmitchell

    Can you please put out a good movie? YOu haven't done that since 1989.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 3:36 p.m. CST

    P-51, Cadillac of the skies!!

    by morGoth

    Lucas better take a cue from Speilberg and, at least, get the aircraft correct. If I see a damned T-6 Texan dressed up as a P-51C I'm going to throw my partially masticated Dum-dum's at the screen. This is a great story and I'm really looking forward to seeing it told (again) on the Big Screen.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 3:55 p.m. CST

    P-51

    by MrMojok

    There are more than enough P-51s still around to pull this off. I saw ~80 of them last year at an airshow in Columbus. No need to dress up another plane to make it appear as one. Of course I am sure ILM will just animate them for the dogfight scenes, like they did in Pearl Harbor. Hopefully this time the animators will not have them manuever like T.I.E. fighters, like they did in P.H.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 4:01 p.m. CST

    If there are shortcomings

    by Arteska

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 4:02 p.m. CST

    they exist in the orginals the same way

    by Arteska

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 4:10 p.m. CST

    frodo dude funniest shit ive read all week

    by drturing

    and thats because i know people who work at ilm.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 4:28 p.m. CST

    benditlikelucas

    by kwisatzhaderach

    I'd love to see some of these prequels the fans think they can make better.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Is Michael Dorn still attached to this?

    by DerLanghaarige

    I remember that he mentioned this movie on a convention a few years ago.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Can they find a part for OJ?

    by www.valiens.com

    Help a brotha out!

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 4:47 p.m. CST

    I still wish Lucas was directing this.

    by StarWarsRedux

    Seriously. The man knows how to make movies about pilots.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Frodo- you are dead on!

    by PirateEmery

    I, too, know folks that work at the Presidio. The whole management at that site are douchebags...

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Those clips look like the intro to a PC game

    by Orionsangels

    Anyway, this movie sounds cool.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Interested

    by Cobbio

    As critical as I've been of Lucas in recent years, I think he made good choice with Hemingway. Doesn't matter to me if the director is black or white, since Spielberg made a wonderful "The Color Purple" years ago, but Hemingway's credentials are top notch. "Battlestar Galactica" and "The Wire"?<p> I'm interested.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Strange as it may seem ...

    by DennisMM

    one of the most prominent portrayals of blacks in WWII came in the early '70s, on episodic network TV. "Roll Out" tried to build on the popularity of MASH and black films of the time, telling a comic-dramatic story of the Red Ball Express, black supply unit loaders and drivers who humped food, ammo, replacement weapons and sometimes people through the worst parts of the war. Some real heroes came out of the Red Ball. But almost no one remembers them, and the network canceled "Roll Out" pretty quickly when white America showed a disinterest in the WWII subject matter and the racial politics. I remember it very vaguely but with some fondness.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Re: Artesta

    by Cobbio

    You wrote, "The prequels are in fact pretty damn good when you look at them as a whole..."<p> That's your opinion, not a fact. My opinion differs significantly from yours, as do most people's. You're welcome to express your view, obviously, but don't expect people to be swayed by it.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Starving Artist

    by DennisMM

    Take a deep breath, please. There have been lots of movies about fliers and fighters in WWII that highlighted their heroism. There haven't been many films about how blacks were blocked from most combat service and had to fight just for the right to serve their country as something other than cooks and mechanics and drivers. That fact doesn't get taught in schools, much either, so lots of Americans have no idea how the USA discriminated against blacks in a moment of dire need. They should know, just as they already know about the achievements of whites. The sociopolitical message is the whole point of the movie. Without it, it's just another movie about fighter pilots. Do we really need another one of those?

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 6:56 p.m. CST

    I think a lot of you just have knee-jerk reactions to "black mov

    by terry1978

    That's pretty much all it is. I don't blame you too much, as I know society has basically made it cool to be as politically incorrect as possible due to backlash from the quote unquote "race card." But as was mentioned, many minorities in past wars did a hell of a lot, and in some cases moreso than their white counterparts, and were more than likely viewed as lower than the fucking dogs and horses that the white guys rode...so, yeah.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Not trying to sway opinons really

    by Arteska

    but I do think that many of the criticisms leveled at those movies and those sustained and repeated vs. Lucas have pretty weak legs to stand on for the most part and devolve into weird misplaced vendetta territory. There are few movies that couldn't be improved in this way and that and it's pretty easy to understand why some of the most popular movies of all time would have so many opinions about how new installments should unfold - what's not easy to understand is how you could possibly reconcile all of them into something that made sense or pleased everyone, much less the person creating it in the first place.

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Presidio Management and Friends at ILM...

    by SK229

    to the two who mentioned that shit, can you elaborate? Would love some good gossip on that place... know you prolly gotta be discreet, but any funny stories or anecdotes you can relate about it?

  • Sept. 25, 2008, 11:37 p.m. CST

    ILM, Dogfights and...

    by Maestro610

    a director that has worked on both The Wire and Battlestar Galactica. I don't care how much hate you have for Spike Lee or George Lucas.... they're only producing this movie. This thing is heading in the right direction to be fantastic.

  • Sept. 26, 2008, 12:39 a.m. CST

    drturing & PirateEmery

    by Frodo T. Baggins

    Ah Thank you.

  • Sept. 26, 2008, 3:35 a.m. CST

    Pathetic Criticism of Lucas

    by DarfurOnTheRocks

    It is almost as if he is compelled to trash Lucas in order to gain some fans here....

  • Sept. 26, 2008, 3:56 a.m. CST

    Red Tails versus Red Nails

    by Dingbatty

  • Sept. 26, 2008, 3:59 a.m. CST

    They fly into a mysterious cloud and end up

    by Dingbatty

    in the Hyborian Age.

  • Sept. 26, 2008, 10:40 a.m. CST

    There was already a Tuskeegee Airmen film...

    by TheGoddamnSiege

    It starred Lawrence Fishburn. Do we really need another one?

  • Sept. 26, 2008, 12:01 p.m. CST

    For starters, Starving_Artist…

    by morGoth

    …how about the movie ‘Memphis Belle’? That bomber crew was a part of the Eighth and though I don’t remember a specific name, I’m quite sure the crew in ‘Twelve O’clock High’ was part of the Eighth also since it wasn’t until later that the Fifteenth started operations from Italy. I think your snarky comment is completely inappropriate and wholly unjustified…how many other WWII movies, besides ‘Tuskegee Airmen’ have involved mostly minority war fighters?

  • Sept. 26, 2008, 4 p.m. CST

    morGoth

    by DennisMM

    Thank you. This film is not going to be about one unit's sacrifice, so far as I can tell. It's going to be about what the men had to do simply to be allowed to make that sacrifice. It's a political issue story as much as a war story. <p> <p> TheGoddamnSiege: That was 13 years ago, on TV. That may as well be 50 years ago for most people. From that position I guess we don't need any more WWII films at all, since there have been so many and you can find Hitler on The History Channel at any random moment. And we don't need any more action movies ever. The existence of certain hit films wipes out the need for entire genres. *wink*