In today’s spotlight comes a look at George Lucas’s upcoming film: Red Tails
Short of anything Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and THX1138, attributed writing credits for George Lucas remain very few and far between. (Talk about riding a money train for all it’s worth!) 😉
Fortunately, Red Tails takes off in a different direction as it looks to tell the story of the famous World War II Tuskegee Airmen. Courtesy Wikipedia, here is the plot synopsis:
- “1944. World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. Meanwhile the black pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program are courageously waging two wars at once — one against enemies overseas, and the other against discrimination within the military and back home. Racial prejudices have long held ace airman Martin “Easy” Julian (Nate Parker) and his black pilots back at base — leaving them with little to do but further hone their flying skills — while their white counterparts are shipped out to combat after a mere three months of training. Mistakenly deemed inferior and assigned only second-rate planes and missions, the pilots of Tuskegee have mastered the skies with ease but have not been granted the opportunity to truly spread their wings. Until now.
- As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above. Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in broad daylight — a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial losses — Easy’s pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in a heroic endeavor to combat the enemy — and the discrimination that has kept them down for so long.“
This new film not only boasts an exciting historical account of the Tuskegee Airmen and the talent of George Lucas, but also the talent of a very high-caliber cast and crew. Take a look at who else is involved in this movie:
- Director Anthony Hemingway (The Wire, Changing Lanes)
- Writer John Ridley (Three Kings)
- Cuba Gooding Jr. as Major Emanuelle Stance
- Terrence Howard as Col. A.J. Bullard
- Bryan Cranston as Maj. William Mortamus
- Nate Parker as Martin “Easy” Julian
- David Oyelowo as Joe “Lightning” Little
- Tristan Wilds as Ray “Ray Gun” Gannon
- Ryan Early as Captain Bryce
- Method Man as Sticks
- Kevin Phillips as Leon “Neon” Edwards
- Robert Kazinsky as Chester Barnes
- Rick Otto as Flynt
- Lee Tergesen as Maj. Col. Jack Tomilson
- Andre Royo as Chief “Coffee” Coleman
- Ne-Yo as Andrew “Smoky” Salem
- …and MORE!
- (Samuel L. Jackson was approached with the project. While he praises the script he chose to decline both the offer to act and direct this film.)
George Lucas actually began working on this project back in 1988, but went through a few writer and director choices for such a story “too good to be true.” In preparing for the film, Lucasfilm invited the surviving Tuskegee Airmen to the Skywalker Ranch to conduct interviews about their experiences and look through some of the original mission logbooks! A lot of the filming took place in the Czech Republic where the actors participated in a boot camp of sorts and lived in similar living conditions as the airmen of fame.
Director Anthony Hemingway had this to say about being involved with the project:
“I am humbled and honored to direct the story of the Tuskegee Airmen – heroes who have paved the way so others could have the opportunity to pursue their dreams […] To be selected by George Lucas and Rick [McCallum, producer] to direct this film was more than my wildest dreams come true. It’s been a blessing to work with them, along with the amazingly talented artists at Industrial Light & Magic. I’ve grown a lot on many levels from this experience. As director, I had the fortune to work with a highly skilled crew from the Czech Republic, U.K. and the U.S., along with a remarkably talented group of actors. The resonant beauty, strength and dedication of our heroes is reflected in the powerful ensemble cast.”
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
up next: Reviews for Horrible Bosses, Cowboys&Aliens, and more. Stay tuned.