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Mr. Beaks Flies Into Battle With George Lucas's RED TAILS!

If you're any kind of STAR WARS fan, the title RED TAILS should mean something to you. Though I can't seem to nail down the exact date the project was announced (I say 1992, but a couple of reliable Lucas-philes think it might be as old as WILLOW), it was, for many years, one of those "non-prequel" ideas Lucas batted around in interviews just to get our hopes up that he might one day return to big-screen feature filmmaking. Then RADIOLAND MURDERS actually happened (for better or worse), EPISODE I went forward (ditto), and RED TAILS was, over time, downgraded to one of those pet concepts that Lucas would maybe get to once the prequel trilogy was completed. Some sixteen years later, RED TAILS is finally leaving the hangar. For those of you not up on your Lucasfilm lore, RED TAILS was always intended to be some kind of history-based tribute to the World War II exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen. But that was the extent of the public's knowledge about the project. Would it be an epic, three-hour take on the formation, training and deployment of the squadron, or a high-octane homage to the flyboy yarns that inspired the x-wing/tie-fighter battles in STAR WARS? If Lucas had any interest in winning Oscars, the former might've been a possibility. But one of the things I've always liked about Lucas is that, with very few exceptions (all of them being over twenty years old), he doesn't go in for prestige. He may feint at making "small independent films like Francis", but, as CHUD's Devin Faraci discovered a while back, that's hardly a priority. Lucas is less an artist than a gearhead. And he's at his best when crafting stories around young men who dig fast moving vehicles. Let's see... fighter pilots are young... planes are fast... Could RED TAILS be George Lucas's most honest and, dare I say it, heartfelt entertainment since THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK? If you take John Ridley's screenplay as the sum total of its aerial action (which is so specific, I wouldn't be surprised if it was written and pre-vis'd a decade ago by Lucas himself), it absolutely is. The first twenty-one pages reads like STAR WARS in the European Theatre. Starting with a daredevil assault on a German train chugging through the Italian countryside (replete with pilot banter borrowed almost directly from the Death Star trench run), and concluding with a blind landing on a crowded military airfield, you get the feeling that this is Lucas's attempt to reclaim the modern World War II movie from Spielberg. "Lighten up, Steve! Let's go back to the days when fighting and dying for your country was fun!" I know that sounds snide, but it's really a compliment of sorts; despite Ridley's disappointing reliance on war film cliches (hard to take the "Dead Meat" archetype seriously after HOT SHOTS), RED TAILS is an enthralling read. Most importantly, it's so unabashedly commercial that I don't think it would outright kill the possibility of another, more serious Tuskegee Airmen film getting made somewhere down the road. Flipping through RED TAILS, I was reminded that there is a place for corny war films with stock characters - and it's not just the 1940s and 50s. And since the brave African-American pilots who served the United States so brilliantly never got their FLYING LEATHERNECKS, there's no harm in honoring them with an escapist entertainment. The question is whether audiences have a taste for that kind of thing in the wake of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (one might even reach back to PLATOON*) and the difficult occupation of Iraq. It's impossible to dodge the grim realities of warfare anymore, so a glossy, not-too-bloody throwback may not be as welcome as it might've been when Lucas first started developing the script. It may be a tough climate for patriotic war films, but RED TAILS is so defiantly out of time, I don't think it's going to matter - especially when you factor in the artificiality of the endeavor. Though Lucas hasn't discussed in any great detail how he plans to shoot the movie (with director Anthony Hemingway tending to those icky "actors"), he'll certainly entrust the elaborate combat sequences to the the best of the best at ILM (given the emphasis on action at the expense of character development, I wouldn't be surprised if he opts for IMAX 3-D). Will this overwhelm the human element? Possibly. But, like I said, the humans are little more than instantly identifiable archetypes you either cheer or hiss. What is a little strange is that RED TAILS is mostly an ensemble piece. If there's anything close to a protagonist, it's Marty Julian aka "Easy". He's the steady, fiercely loyal flight leader who disobeys orders in the opening sequence by talking his blinded pal, Ray "Ray Gun" Knight, through a rough landing. We get the sense early on from a post-assault briefing - in which the pilots watch film captured from the cameras mounted in the planes - that Easy and his fellow airmen are top-notch and combat-ready; unfortunately, as we learn in the next scene, the top brass at the Pentagon is unconvinced that this "colored experiment" is working. Do "negro" pilots possess the requisite degree of skill and intellect? Are they too wild or, worse, cowardly? There is, of course, plenty of racism to overcome, but, due to the outfit's lack of meaningful missions, there also aren't many statistics to counter these unreasonable assertions. As a result, the Tuskegee program is on the verge of being shut down. While the Pentagon considers the fate of the fighter group, their leader, Colonel A.J. Bullard, wrangles a fairly significant "air cover" errand for his men. When they outperform expectations (racking up four kills and no losses), Bullard is offered a serious but potentially deadly mission: escorting American bombers as they conduct raids over German targets in broad daylight. Losses have been so severe for the Air Force in these operations that they're willing to try anything. And the fact is that no one will ever know whether these Tuskegee pilots are prone to breaking formation and acting like children in the heat of battle until they're actually thrust into the heat of battle. The historical record tells you how this all plays out, but, as always, there should be excitement and suspense in the re-telling as you wonder who'll make it out of these perilous missions alive. This is where RED TAILS might disappoint those hoping for a more modern World War II film instead of, say, TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH: aside from the racial element (which is cliched in its own way), you've seen this movie before; you know who lives and who dies from the moment they're introduced. That said, you've also loved this movie before, so while you might roll your eyes at the trite dialogue or wince at the obligatory dust-up between the airmen and a group of racist American soldiers (which, amusingly, is preceded by a quick high school history lesson on W.E.B. Du Bois vs. Booker T. Washington), there can still be something exhilarating about this type of war film. Rounding up an appealing company of actors will obviously help in putting this material over (and I think Hemingway is probably a good choice as director, given his TV work on high-end ensemble shows like THE WIRE and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA), but the make-or-break will be the aerial acrobatics of the Tuskegee airmen in their trusty P-51 Mustangs. As I mentioned before, the combat sequences are written with such precision, it's like having the storyboards right in front of you. Lucas's vision couldn't be any clearer. And while the action predictably builds in scale as the story progresses, it's hard to not get worked up over the grand finale: a massive bombing raid on Berlin that pits the airmen against a swarming fleet of the Third Reich's finest fighter pilots (led by an ace called the "White Baron"). As Lucas proved with the chaotic opening battle that kicks off REVENGE OF THE SITH, he still knows how to stage and edit combat. The trick, however, is imbuing the CG mayhem with tangible, flesh-and-blood danger; otherwise, it's just a $200 million video game demo. Though the overwhelming enormity of an IMAX screen could assist in immersing the audience in Lucas's fabricated environment, the onus will mostly fall on the actors, who'll have to invest Ridley's shopworn dialogue with conviction and charisma (ordinarily, I'd be hoping for a polish of some sort, but even the unseen hand of Tom Stoppard couldn't bring poetry to the final installment of the STAR WARS prequels). That's a tall order, but if the actors commit to the material, anything's possible. As of last Friday (2/27), offers are reportedly out to Terrence Howard, Andre Royo (Bubs!), Nate Parker (who should be on the verge of stardom after his excellent performance in THE GREAT DEBATERS), David Oyelowo (Dr. Junju in THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND), R&B star Ne-Yo, Bryan Cranston (currently earning accolades for his work on BREAKING BAD) and Barry Pepper. RED TAILS may occasionally feel like an educational tool, but it's mostly just an old-fashioned 1950s war movie honoring real-life heroism, and I can't knock it for that. Best of all for Lucas, it's not the continuation of an old, wheezing franchise. Unburdened by the crushing expectations of the prequels or INDY 4 (and I'm so going to regret saying this), there's a very good chance RED TAILS could be perceived as a return to form when it hits theaters in 2010. Faithfully submitted, Mr. Beaks

*Hell, why stop there? What was the last uplifting, PG-ish war movie? The Green Berets?

Readers Talkback
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  • March 2, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Thanks George!!!

    by Media Messiah

    I am looking forward to this!!!

  • March 2, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST


    by tra1138

    Cant wait.

  • March 2, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Wow, praising George Lucas?

    by lockesbrokenleg

    that's a new one.

  • March 2, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    Don't you get your red tails...

    by Carpet_Pisser

    When you go down on a girl during her period? Or is that red wings?

  • March 2, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Young Indy

    by berserkrl

    "like an educational tool in the vein of THE YOUNG INDIANA JONES CHRONICLES" -- Young Indy was never *just* an educational tool; at its best it was high-quality serious drama.

  • March 2, 2009, 4:03 p.m. CST

    sounds awesome

    by theneonsamurai

    bring it on!

  • March 2, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    So, George wrote the story and he's producing it, right?

    by Mr. Pricklepants

    But someone else wrote the screenplay and someone else is directing it, right? Just like The Empire Strikes Back. That's what he should have done with the Star Wars prequels.

  • March 2, 2009, 4:09 p.m. CST


    by mrbeaks

    I didn't mean to disparage YIJC. Let me re-word that.

  • March 2, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Small Note To George Lucas

    by Media Messiah

    I really think it important that you as an independent filmmaker finance and produce movies other than the next Indiana Jones or Star Wars prequel(s)/sequel(s). You have the facilities to do many new and original works, why not use them to do just that??? May this be the beginning of a new Lucas film...or at least, a new edition to Lucas dedicated, and committed, to producing new and original works. <BR><BR>There are many unsigned filmmakers and writers who are depending on you, as you, Mr. Lucas, can offer them a way into the business. You have always had the door open to the technical types...those who gravitate to special effects, ala computer artists, and video game specialists, but there are no "Help wanted" signs hanging-up at Lucas Film for filmmakers and writers who are on a job search. Hopefully, that will now change. Good luck to us all!!!

  • March 2, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Fuck yeah. Two good articles by you today Beaks.


    What the fuck? Why are your reporting on shit I care about now?

  • March 2, 2009, 4:13 p.m. CST

    They already made a movie about this.

    by alienindisguise

    Tuskeegee Airmen came out way back when and that seemed to sum up their place in history. But at least this will be jar jar free so that's a step in the right direction.

  • March 2, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    but will any of the characters CGI?

    by IAmLegolas

    because you need at least one in a George Lucas movie.

  • March 2, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Fuck George Lucas!

    by HorrorFan81

    He's shown us that he isn't capable of good solid entertainment time and time again. Why should we trust him now?

  • March 2, 2009, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Lucas - haven't discussd him round these parts for a while

    by TurdontheRun

    Fresh from the moronic Cameron bashing, is the moronic Lucas bashing also going to have a revival? Or has enough time passed that it's Lucas time to be popular again, his 'sins' forgiven, as in this article? Is he 'in' again? You know how fickle these geeks are!

  • March 2, 2009, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Lucas is going head to head with Peter Jackson?

    by yomomma

    Bad idea. Redtails Vs. Dam Busters... I bet I know which movie will be better.

  • March 2, 2009, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Who are the ad wizards...

    by wampa 1

    ...that came up with this one?

  • March 2, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Since when is it a tough climate for patriotic war films?

    by MrD

    All I've seen of late were politically driven, anti-administration, anti-Iraq war films (I won't call them non-patriotic, but they didn't seem to fit the bill in the traditional, flag waving sense that I think Mr. Beaks is talking about here) . The last "patriotic" war films I can recall were The Patriot and Pearl Harbor, and neither did badly at the BO.

  • March 2, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST


    by yomomma

    Lucas deserves the bashing, where Cameron Doesn't. He has not been involved in a film that has ruined a franchise yet, and Cameron's worst movies are still 10 times better than Phantom Menace.

  • March 2, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Wait, so Lucas isn't directing? Okay...

    by YackBacker

    Then how is this a return to form? It's putting Lucas where he belongs- as Exec. Producer. The guy can't write or direct, but he sure is rich!

  • March 2, 2009, 4:33 p.m. CST


    by alice 13

    it has to have clones.

  • March 2, 2009, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Billy Dee Williams needs to be in this somehow

    by Gungan Slayer

    Like, for real. Good to see this project moving forward, and hopefully we'll see Lucas actually direct those films of his that "no one wants to see" because I sure as would like to.

  • March 2, 2009, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Lucas is washed-up

    by Light_Tweaker

    Lando is not!

  • March 2, 2009, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Oooh I bet Jar Jar would fit in great here.

    by Baron Karza


  • March 2, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    Lucas better be effectively co-directing this

    by StarWarsRedux

    Is he good with actors? Not so much. I'll admit that. But visually-- he's among the best, especially in action sequences. As long as this is shot in 2:35.1, I think we'll be fine.

  • March 2, 2009, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Beaks nailed it when he said...

    by Leafy McPlantsalot

    video game demo. Lucas is gonna want to do this whole thing in front of a green screen. Like flyboys, it will feel like the future, not the past.

  • March 2, 2009, 5:05 p.m. CST

    dam busters has been made and is perfect as is

    by FamousEccles

    fuck jackson anyway he made a balls of rotk

  • March 2, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    screw you all GL is king

    by FamousEccles

  • March 2, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST


    by Charlie_Allnut

    Lucas lost me even further then he already had when he basically stated in an interview that he was bending over backwards to not offend Spike Lee when making this film (in so many words, and he was serious). I'm sure this will be pretty though. I'd like to see Lucas do a normal movie w/ a smallish budget (and an original script). How much would a Lucas directed action thriller make? Buckets full. My last hope for anything Lucas related is the Star Wars live action TV show. I'm reasonably sure it will be shit though.

  • March 2, 2009, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Red Tails vs. Red Nails

    by Dingbatty

  • March 2, 2009, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Because I Care About *You*, Danny

    by mrbeaks

    Honestly, though, you're incredibly unpredictable. What are your thoughts on Lee Frost?

  • March 2, 2009, 5:21 p.m. CST

    This makes my day

    by fassbinder79

    I love George Lucas. THX is one of my favorite films of all time and I really respect his making this movie.

  • March 2, 2009, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Is there ever a time NOT to bash Episode I?

    by Keeper Of Chimps

    I get so sick of the "Empire was the only good Star Wars" shit. Everyone should go ass fuck themselves and eat penis pie.

  • March 2, 2009, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Interesting route, Lucas

    by terry1978

    The whole concept of the Airmen is definitely good fodder for a movie, and he does have the clout to make it look good, but if he's writing....meh.

  • March 2, 2009, 5:41 p.m. CST


    by Mullah Omar

    Do they cover different ground or what? Is George too late to this party?

  • March 2, 2009, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Fuck it

    by StarskyandHushky

    He'll probably put CGI actors, in CGI planes, flying over CGI landscapes. While making the actors spout dialogue tht would make a first grader feel shame, and love scenes of such standard they will make Pearl Harbor look like Casablanca. I'm sorry, but Lucas, and Star Wars, are dead to me. So is Indy.

  • March 2, 2009, 5:48 p.m. CST

    How long until Spike Lee starts to bitch about this?

    by jrb

  • March 2, 2009, 5:51 p.m. CST

    George Lucas...

    by big_twinkie

    hasn't written anything half decent in 20 years. I couldn't give a shit about Red Tails. If this beardy git has written it it'll struggle to be better than Flyboys (total shit) or Wing Commander (satans shit).

  • March 2, 2009, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Where's Samuel Jackson's Part??

    by genrefanboy

    SLJ said Lucas promised him a script read & maybe a part when doing press for ROS. I think Lucas has just given up on this to clear the decks for the Star Wars TV series & Indy5 (which he is developing storylines for right now). I would also expect this movie to not be 100% financed by Lucasfilm either unless its made very cheap he will co-finance with another studio as not much profit in telling a story like this.

  • March 2, 2009, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Actors, actors, actors

    by lochkray

    If the dialogue is of the calibre/style Mr. Beaks is talking about (and taking into account the prequels) it will all depend 100% on the actors' ability to say them. There's no way to predict it. Somehow, actors like Harrison Ford, Ewan McGregor, Ian McDermond, and even Alec Guiness (all fine actors) can read corny dialogue and make it sell. And then Natalie Portman and Sam Jackson (also fine actors) can recite the same style dialogue and make it sound like nails on a chalk board. Normal acting talent doesn't seem to have anything to do with it. There needs to be a spot an an actor's resume where they can put "able to recite George Lucas dialogue effectively". Some can, some can't. The ability to make the movie work will be to find actors able to recite corn believeably. It they all succeed (a la American Grafitti or original Star Wars) it'll work. If some fail, you get people awkwardly saying things like "Hold me, Tuskeegee, like you did on Naboo" & "I don't like sand".

  • March 2, 2009, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Spike Lee actually spoke with some enthusiasm about this project

    by Bass Ackwards

    He has no involvement, but when asked a kind of general question about the state of African Americans in cinema, he spoke with optimism, pointing out upcoming projects, this being one of them. Though...the "White Baron"? I hope he has angry german lines like "no colored pilot will ever get the better of me!" or "someone needs to put these boys in their place!"

  • March 2, 2009, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Let Steven Spielberg do it

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Band of Brothers anyone?

  • March 2, 2009, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Thanks you Mr. Beaks!

    by Ye Not Guilty

    It's good to see a script review on this site. It's the shame of this site that guys like Harry and Mori sit on scripts and never review them for the site. I understand not posting the scripts, but a little review won't hurt anything.

  • March 2, 2009, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Note To Lucas: Please Cast Chiwetel Ejiofor In The Lead

    by Media Messiah

    Chiwetel Ejiofor is the best working actor in the business!!! See the opening of Serenity, and you will instantly know that he should lead the cast of this film!!!

  • March 2, 2009, 7:05 p.m. CST

    OK, OK, but here's what I don't get

    by I am_NOTREAL

    If Obi-Wan can beat Anakin, and Anakin can beat Dooku, how is it that Dooku owns Obi-Wan so thoroughly?

  • March 2, 2009, 7:11 p.m. CST

    I have to agree with Media Messiah on Chiwetel

    by fassbinder79

    His performance in Redbelt was awesome. And Red Tails could be a star performance.

  • March 2, 2009, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Jake Lloys as the trainer

    by lockesbrokenleg


  • March 2, 2009, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Berry Pepper again?

    by The_Squid

    Does he ever work in a different genre?

  • March 2, 2009, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Post Saving Private Ryan? You got a point

    by benlovescoolnews

    It can be hard to watch an escapist (almost popcorn) war movie cos its true reality is so well known. Still, hope this turns out good. Same goes for Inglourious Basterds.

  • March 2, 2009, 7:59 p.m. CST

    Ahh the return of Ahmed Best...

    by groorgman

    Moi moi Annie! Messa shootsa da Hines down! Oy! Oy! Lotsa people 'gon die! "I threw Jar Jar...err Ahmed Best in there because I wanted the film to have something for the kids, I think he's great in P-51. Gungans should fly Mustangs..." -George lucas.

  • March 2, 2009, 8 p.m. CST

    red tails? shit i wrote that fuckin script

    by Stengah

    back in nineteen eighty foe

  • March 2, 2009, 8:05 p.m. CST

    I'd rather see a Lucas directed Dragon Tails.

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • March 2, 2009, 8:19 p.m. CST

    "If you're any kind of STAR WARS fan, "

    by Amy Chasing

    then why haven't I heard about Red Tails? I've seen all the Star Wars movies, the animated Clone Wars series, read most of the books and comics... I think that qualifies me as a Star Wars fan. So why is this the first I've heard of Red Tails? Is it because I have better things to do than watch DVD commentaries and docos? Did they mention it in there? Why are you questioning my Star Wars fan-ish-ness Mr Beaks? Oh, it's just not fair!

  • March 2, 2009, 8:26 p.m. CST

    "Easy" is a really cliched name for black men...

    by BadMrWonka

    Devil in a Blue Dress, The Big Score, Get Rich or Die Tryin'...<p>I'm sure there are more. Mr. Lucas, if you(r assistant) read(s) this, please change that name. at least one cliched archetype will be excised from the script!

  • March 2, 2009, 8:42 p.m. CST

    I am_NOTREAL kenobi beat skywalker because

    by FamousEccles

    he had the advantage of the physical high ground at just the right moment and used it to bait anakin into jumping over him - had it gone on longer obi-wan eould be toast

  • March 2, 2009, 8:56 p.m. CST

    @ FamousEccles & I am_NOTREAL

    by Amy Chasing

    Sort of. The way we're supposed to see it is because Anakin was full of anger (and himself) he wasn't as in control of the situation as Obiwan, hence why Obiwan won. <P> Dooku beat Obiwan because he was a cool customer, in control of his anger (and himself) and Obiwan had never faced a Sith like him before (Maul had some control, but not like Dooku). <P> Moral of the story: Be you Jedi or Sith, don't lose it or you're toast. Of course, that doesn't explain how Quigon lost. You could say he was old, but c'mon. Most likely explanation: Prequels were baaaaad.

  • March 2, 2009, 9:07 p.m. CST

    amy jinn lost because maul was a feckin animal

    by FamousEccles

    prequels are awesome

  • March 2, 2009, 9:08 p.m. CST

    SoylentMean - dambusters is great movie

    by FamousEccles

    its on dvd [feck jackson]

  • March 2, 2009, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Royo Ain't the only Wire Alum in the Cast

    by alynch3

    Tristan Wilds (Michael) and Michael B. Jordan (Wallace) are in the cast.

  • March 2, 2009, 9:25 p.m. CST

    soylentMean - nice one

    by FamousEccles

  • March 2, 2009, 9:30 p.m. CST

    As long as he doesn't write the damn thing

    by aversiontherapy2

    That man cannot write to save his life, concepts... sure, but dialogue, character... no.

  • March 2, 2009, 10:11 p.m. CST

    I hate planes. They're coarse. And full of oil..

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • March 2, 2009, 10:20 p.m. CST

    HOLY SHIT --Ahmed Best should totally be in this

    by Gungan Slayer


  • March 2, 2009, 10:27 p.m. CST

    JarJar, Spike Lee...God Damn it..All the jokes are taken!

    by conspiracy

    Thats what I get for being in class trying to better myself when shit like this gets posted.</p><p> That said...Tuskegee has been done there a need to go over it again? If you want to do a WW2 something unexpected...Perhaps a film about the French underground..or the Polish Resistance...or even about the Pro-Nazi Russians...ya know something fresh and maybe even a bit edgy?

  • March 2, 2009, 10:32 p.m. CST

    aversiontherapy2,,I agree...However...

    by conspiracy

    at least it isn't Orci Kurtzman writing it...Christ can you imagine that mess?! Lucas directing..Orci/Kurtzman writing...that has to be some kind of Film Horror film right there..

  • March 2, 2009, 10:46 p.m. CST

    "Red Tails" stills sounds like a porno to me

    by Puddleglum

    And I don't mean the kind that involves Artoo sticking his prong into a Bespin data socket, either.

  • March 2, 2009, 11 p.m. CST

    Lucas raped my Tuskegee

    by Loosejerk

    ...and by Tuskegee...I mean ASSHOLE.

  • March 3, 2009, 12:12 a.m. CST

    The Hun shot first!

    by IAmJack'sUserID

    Do we get horizonatal shockwaves shooting out from every German plane that gets shot down?

  • March 3, 2009, 12:25 a.m. CST


    by illegaltouching

  • March 3, 2009, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Is Jar Jar going to be in this?


    George Lucas should just retire and gives the reins to someone else. The first thing on their agenda should be REMAKING THE PREQUELS.

  • March 3, 2009, 2:44 a.m. CST

    When ILM was mentioned, i switched off to the idea.

    by wowsah156

    I want tio see real planes in a real sky with real pilots. No. CGI!! I laughed at this statment: "Lucas still knows how to edit and direct combat action". WRONG!!!

  • March 3, 2009, 2:49 a.m. CST

    Saving Private Ryan = Realism

    by Samson_K

    For the opening assault on Omaha Beach.<BR><BR>The rest of the film (apart from one or two asides) was a pretty standard treatment of guys on a mission - and then it seriously went into pulp war movie territory at the end.<BR><BR>The German that Hanks eventually let's go suddenly turns into an UBER-NAZI at the end and Tom Hanks thinking he's blown up a tank with his Colt. 45 - these were more in line with old fashioned movies than the visceral first 10 - 15 minutes.

  • March 3, 2009, 3:17 a.m. CST


    by Fourthwall

    Yep please less cgi! It works in space because we don't really know what a Xwing flying in space really looks like- but we do know what a Mustang flying off the wing of a b17 looks like..

  • March 3, 2009, 4:35 a.m. CST

    Keep Samuel L. Jackson away from this too

    by Monkey_King

    He already ruined future MARVEL films to come.

  • March 3, 2009, 4:39 a.m. CST


    by F-18

    And keep Will Smith away from it.

  • March 3, 2009, 5:39 a.m. CST

    Sounds like Pearl Harbour

    by zapano

    It may not be star wars or indy, but it still sounds like regressive shit to me. Actually doing an "oscar" film would be a step up for Lucas, that's how low he's got.

  • March 3, 2009, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Bring It, Lucas

    by BeyondStatic

    A) You brought us 'Star Wars'. B) You need retribution around here for 'Episode I'. C) You craft a story like a Jedi master. D) There needs to be a competing film for Peter Jackson's 'Dambusters' E) It's your dream, man. Do it.

  • March 3, 2009, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Tuskeegee is not as derivative as you all make it

    by terry1978

    It's been done one time in film. One. WWII in general is the most overused war in film, video games, and tv shows, and apparently Hollywood and the public hasn't gotten sick of it yet. It's always been the same thing, bunch of young white guys join up, and we follow their exploits as they 1. fall in love overseas, 2. deal with their experiences during wartime, 3. follow the young gun as he disobeys his platoon's commands. You can only do so much, and I want to see the Tuskeegee Airmen done with a larger budget.

  • March 3, 2009, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Benlovescoolnews, I still think war flicks can work...

    by AJMaggott

    ...even if done by Lucas. Check out "Zulu" almost completley historically accurate, yet tubs o' fun. MrBadWonka, the 'Easy' refered to in the article was actually a real person (I believe he was the top kill getter in the unit), I think he might be a little miffed if his name was altered in the name of political correctness. Terry1978, I agree wholeheartedly about WWII, I think Korea is full of interesting potential an international effort, the first conflict that the U.S military was integrated, the advent of the jet age,, etc. Hell, remake "porkchop Hill" if you have to remake

  • March 3, 2009, 10:05 a.m. CST


    by Himbo

    Dogfights on the History Channel is awesome!

  • March 3, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Another call for limited to no CGI

    by Crimson Dynamo

    Do it all with models, George. It'll be good for ya.

  • March 3, 2009, 10:20 a.m. CST

    I like what I'm hearing...

    by 420 Boylston St

    with the exception of an R&B actor playing a role. Lucas and Hemmingway don't do this. This film should be treated seriously and having one of these R&B guys in the film will lessen my interests. Keep the talent pool top notch, I love the idea of Terrence Howard starring in this film.

  • March 3, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Since Empire Strikes Back??

    by Bishop6

    Uhm he didn't direct Empire which is why it was so damned good. "Could RED TAILS be George Lucas's most honest and, dare I say it, heartfelt entertainment since THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK"

  • March 3, 2009, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Force 10 From Navarone!

    by Lance Rocke

    "That's some heavy-duty dog shit." Classic!

  • March 3, 2009, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Tough for patriotic war films?

    by KCMOSHer

    I have no idea how you could say that, considering there hasn't BEEN one in quite awhile. All we get from Hollywood lately is negativity and anti-soldier/anti-war propaganda. When IS the last time we saw the US Military kicking ass and taking names on the big screen, when it didn't involve large robots or other fantasy concepts? It's been awhile. Let someone make a positive, exciting war flick like this (or, gasp, a MODERN film) and you'll see how quickly the box office lights up. Every single one of the modern negative war films has flopped miserably, I think that suggests the opposite would happen if the opposite tone was used.

  • March 3, 2009, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Heartbreak Ridge always put a smile on my face

    by Jed

    that's a "hey, war ain't so bad" movie.

  • March 3, 2009, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Not sure what they did at the box office...

    by AJMaggott

    ...but I think that "The Great Raid" anw "We Were Soldiers" both fit the bill, in my opinion at least of old-school, patriotic war flicks...both historically accurate and great fun to watch, too.

  • March 3, 2009, 12:13 p.m. CST

    WTF has CGI got to do with it?

    by Bishop6

    There was probably a moron like you back in the 50s yelling " No more miniatures!!!!" and wanted friggin static drawings. Its got nothing to do with if the movie will be good..GL failed on his WRITING & DIRECTING on those movies, substituting special FX where there should have been character interaction. It doesn't matter that it was CGI, models or friggin puppets at that point.

  • March 3, 2009, 1:05 p.m. CST

    That 'Falklands Movie' with Fred Dryer

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    what was that one? That was pretty conry, feel-good, campy war movie right there.<p> Plus it had Brian Keith taking a power drill to the hand, and NOT BREAKING. Man's man, that guy.

  • March 3, 2009, 1:06 p.m. CST

    fearing the approach of better technology

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    once upon a time in Hollywood, people resisted the new 'talkies' and said they would be the end of true cinema.

  • March 3, 2009, 1:43 p.m. CST

    American Graffiti and ANH are two of the most

    by lockesbrokenleg

    honest Lucas movies. Indiana Jones doesn't count since he really didn't write them. Nor did he write Empire.

  • March 3, 2009, 2:15 p.m. CST

    KCMOSHER, you're wrong

    by jrb

    You say all that Hollywood has lately given us anti-soldier/anti-war films? While I grant you there have been some crappy anti-war movies which I won't bother to see, there has also been FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, GENERATION KILL, WE WERE SOLDIERS, BLACKHAWK DOWN, BAND OF BROTHERS, FLYBOYS, etc.<BR><BR>I too would like to see a straight up Iraq war movie. Something about a squad or platoon in Fallujah during the Nov., 2004 house-to-house fighting.

  • March 3, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Tuskeegee Revenge of the Sith Flying Combat Circus

    by bswise

    Can't wait to see what the WWII-era "buzz-bots" will look like.

  • March 3, 2009, 4:13 p.m. CST

    This story has already been told, and quite well...

    by TheOriginalBubblehead 1995, by HBO, and it was called 'The Tuskegee Airmen'. It starred Laurence Fishburne, Andre Braugher, Mekhi Phifer, Courtney B. Vance, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jon Lithgow, Vivica Fox, and, if I remember correctly, David Strathairn, though I could be thinking of 'Memphis Belle'. Not that I WON'T be standing in line to see 'Red Tails', I just hope it's not Lucas's 'Armageddon'.

  • March 3, 2009, 4:45 p.m. CST

    HBO movie had a good cast...

    by jrb

    but the effects sucked ass. There hasn't been a WWII dog fighting movie that has lived up to the visual potential. PEARL HARBOR had a couple good shots but Bay ruined it with the close ups of Afleck and Hartnet "grunting" in the cockpit nd saying really gay things like "Oh I'm on your ass now!" Despite my problems with Lucas' work as of the last 25 years, I hope that he and ILM can deliver some truly outstanding dog fighting scenes.<BR><BR>History Channel's Dog Fights has battles that are really well staged and edited. Obviously, the CGI is video game quality and that's understandable for a TV show.

  • March 3, 2009, 7:41 p.m. CST

    "Lucas is less an artist than a gearhead."

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    That's pretty presumptuous.

  • March 3, 2009, 8:58 p.m. CST

    hi beaks

    by phoenixmagida5th

    Mesa back! I will never forget george lucas for the one qoute that ruined star wars forever 'yousa people gonna die?' Ugh

  • March 3, 2009, 10:57 p.m. CST

    HBO film vs. feature film...

    by unit1421

    The HBO film had a great cast, but 90% of the visuals were stock footage and a few clips of real gun-cam footage from the period, so it didn't have the size and scope of Band of Brothers, which had a 125 million dollar budget. It's also been 13 years since the HBO film, so a feature film with even a modest 40-60 million dollar budget would be worth seeing.

  • March 3, 2009, 11:31 p.m. CST

    The CGI infested RED TAILS!!!

    by Orionsangels

    Lucase - I decided not to use real sets. We used virtual sets, thanks to today's technology we don't need the real world. We just create it in the computer. We're using just one human actor, the rest of the actors will be CGI. This will bring down the cost.

  • March 3, 2009, 11:55 p.m. CST

    Phoenixmagida5th, Lucas ruined Star Wars when...

    by jrb

    he decided that cute little Ewoks could defeat Storm Troopers in a ground battle. I was 11 when Jedi came out and even at that tender age I knew that such a scenario just wasn't believable, even in the Star Wars world. I've been jaded ever since. He should have gone with his original idea of having the planet (Endor) populated with primitive Wookies who worship Chewie as a god. I would have believed that seven foot tall Wookies could beat up Storm Troopers.

  • March 4, 2009, 2:46 a.m. CST

    Uh, the SW prequels used more models than the OT did

    by lockesbrokenleg


  • March 4, 2009, 5:30 a.m. CST

    Nice try, Beaks.

    by Knuckleduster

    But I'm still not even remotely interested in this.

  • March 4, 2009, 6:07 a.m. CST

    Get RDjr to play Lincoln Osiris's father,

    by Dingbatty

    Hanks Osiris, who was a Tuskeegee Airman.

  • March 4, 2009, 6:14 a.m. CST

    I'd rather see Lucas direct this

    by Darth Busey

    If he was SO passionate about the project, he'd get his hands dirty and direct it. He lost the fire sometime around 1979.

  • March 4, 2009, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Someone Call Michael Dorn

    by Gooose

    I had the good fortune to talk to ol' Worf about George's planned flick. A good actor and damn fine stick and rudder pilot, oh and great guy. Hell, I bet he'd even let George use his plane in the movie. Thanks Beaks!

  • March 4, 2009, 1:42 p.m. CST

    When the economy goes to shit

    by gingerella

    people want escapism. when the economy hit the skids in the seventies, we were awash with 50's nostalgia. An escapist war movie will be wholeheartedly welcomed by audiences. War is hell? Nah. War is Swell!

  • March 4, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST

    The fanboys want to cheer George Lucas

    by hallmitchell

    Yet George you have to give us the ammunition. REd tails sounds great.

  • March 4, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST

    The last uplifting pg war movie was . . .

    by Royston Lodge

    Operation Dumbo Drop

  • March 4, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Fuck CGI AND Models

    by chrth

    Learn to fly planes and shoot each other down. When was the last time we had an uplifting snuff film?

  • March 4, 2009, 6:20 p.m. CST

    And fuck the ROTJ haters

    by chrth

    Far superior to Empire (so sorry your precious three-line bounty hunter died the bitch death he deserved), so hung up on the damn Ewoks that you don't pay attention to the important parts of the film.<p> (that attitude was faked. but seriously, ROTJ is fantastic if you don't obsess over the Ewoks)

  • March 4, 2009, 6:38 p.m. CST

    ANH is far better than ESB or ROJ

    by lockesbrokenleg

    The characters are fresh and new. The space battle is fantastic, and the movie has a happy ending.

  • March 4, 2009, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Done with Lucas

    by Cobbio

    I can't stand him anymore. His horrific and braindead "money over creative expression" approach to directing degrades the art form. He's a fat, privileged white man living in an ivory tower with hordes of swooning hand-picked yes-men.<p> Anything he writes, directs, or produces will inevitably stink of corporate faux-artistry. He's lost it. Completely.<p> Fuck him.

  • March 5, 2009, 12:21 a.m. CST


    by SomaShine

    "since he did empire"..he was an executive producer and story writer only. he didnt even write the final script. The best SW film had the least amount to do with AICN

  • March 5, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    "Inglorious Basterds" is a non-realistic WWII film

    by Beezbo

    I bet it does well, as would "Red Tails."

  • March 5, 2009, 10:58 a.m. CST

    I love Lucas but...

    by Razorback

    This movie is going to suck. I say this after reading what he intends to do with it. It is way too much like the air combat sequences in PEARL HARBOR... and that was a joke.

  • March 5, 2009, 1:18 p.m. CST

    lucas is irrelavent...shitty writer, shitty director

    by FleshMachine

    SW was a fluke!!

  • March 5, 2009, 1:18 p.m. CST

    or however you spell that.

    by FleshMachine


  • March 5, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST

    ah the lucus wars continue...

    by theneonsamurai

    ... "No CG!" "Lucus raped my childhood!!" "Ewoks ruined ROTJ" ... I swear to god, sometimes I think the actual Talkbackers have been replaced with CG to save costs

  • March 5, 2009, 4:05 p.m. CST

    I watch Clone Wars, but I'm bored with Lucasfilm now

    by lockesbrokenleg

    They should be working on Indy 5 right now, but no. We get another movie no one's interested in. Do Star Wars Tales or something for theaters.

  • March 6, 2009, 6:01 a.m. CST

    I Offically Don't Care

    by redfist

    Lucas, you're dead to me.

  • March 6, 2009, 6:05 a.m. CST


    by redfist

    This is because of the repeated shitty product that you have issued.<P> I will not even go on a rant about fag the hut, jar jar, CGI, nuked fridges, Episode 1, little Annie, crap video games, turkey necks and wasting my fucking money. <P> You are just dead to me.

  • March 6, 2009, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Lucas is Darth Vader

    by Jodet

    He's become what he started out hating.

  • March 6, 2009, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Black Dudes Can't Fly

    by Falling_Gruber

    The partner film to White Men Can't Jump

  • March 6, 2009, 4:49 p.m. CST

    THE GREEN BERETS was G, not PG.

    by Harry Weinstein


  • March 6, 2009, 4:55 p.m. CST

    and you guys are just as bad as Vader,

    by Shaner Jedi

    consumed with hatred for a guy who makes escapist entertainment

  • March 6, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Anyone hear Lucas's dipshit comments


    About the economy?

  • March 8, 2009, 9:35 a.m. CST

    The people who dig at lucas

    by Mr Gorilla

    should remind themselves that he did manage to write and direct 4 of the 6 star wars films, and whatever the geeks say, they went down pretty well with audiences world wide. and if audiences had hated them, they would have stopped going (check the fall in interest from Matrix Reloaded to REvolutions)

  • March 8, 2009, 7:28 p.m. CST


    by Earthquake WestCoast

    It's a great cartoon! That's because Lucas stays far away from it. Lucas should just produce and come up with the basic story idea, and leave the writing, directing, and anything creative to those with talent.

  • March 9, 2009, 10:37 a.m. CST

    GEORE LUCA$$!!

    by teh awesome


  • March 10, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    a Raiders-ish tone would be great

    by Hikaru Ichijo

    Lucas could pull off a spirited adventure with yet another larger than life character. An action movie with this premise is just what the world needs.

  • March 12, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Orcus wishes he can pull that off

    by orcus

  • Feb. 17, 2010, 7:08 p.m. CST


    by orcus