Saturday, February 28, 2009

George Lucas to produce first post-Star Wars film

By Noam Friedlander

USAF General Benjamin O Davis Jr and Charles Bailey - George Lucas to produce first post-Star Wars film
USAF General Benjamin O Davis Jr, the leader of the famed all-black Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and the first black general in the Air Force, and Charles Bailey (r), a member of the Tuskegee Airmen Photo: EPA / AP

Lucas's project ‘Red Tails’, a film on the Tuskegee Airmen, who were America’s first black military airmen, as been in development with the director since 1990.

Lucas wrote the story, but will not be directing the project as Anthony Hemingway, who has worked on gritty TV shows such as The Wire and Oz has been signed up to helm the project. Lucas had previously discussed the project with Samuel L Jackson, who was being considered as both director and actor in the film.

"It's a pretty good script," Jackson said. "At one point (Lucas) was asking me if I'd ever want to direct anything. I said, 'I don't know, man. I'm trying to find things.' He said, 'Well, let me send you this thing. Maybe you might want to direct it.'"

However, when pressed if he would seriously consider helming Red Tails, Jackson replied, "I don't know. I don't have a year and a half of my life where I want to stop acting."

Red Tails is set in suburban California, in the 1950s and offers have apparently gone out to Oscar-nominated Terence Howard, NeYo and British actor David Oyelowo.

Lucas, who is one of the American film industry's most financially successful directors/producers, has an estimated net worth of $3.9 billion (£2.73 billion) and might be financing the project himself through LucasFilms because, as yet, no studio has lined up to sign up the film.

The last major film to explore the airmen was a 1996 HBO film starring Laurence Fishburne.

Original here

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