George Lucas not directing Red Tails

June 23, 2008  |  4:17pm
Episode VII

A SQUASHED HOPE

It is a dark 
time for movie blogs.
 Although they reported 
enthusiastically that George 
Lucas would be directing his first non-Star 
Wars film in over three decades, Lucasfilm has 
announced that he'll will merely serve as the executive 
producer for the project, restoring peace to the blogosphere...

Ok, enough with the scrolly text. Yes, early reports that George Lucas would direct Red Tails, a film on the Tuskegee Airmen, are false. As it turns out, the blogosphere collectively misread this AP story, which states that Red Tails would be Lucas' next project. However, the article merely states that Lucas is involved in the project and never mentions anything about potential directors. Lucas, who has a long list of producer credits, will serve as the Executive Producer for the project. Check your sources, you should.

Still, it's pretty cool that the film is getting made, even without Lucas sitting in the director's chair. As any World War II history buff knows, the Tuskegee Airmen were the first squadron of African-American pilots to fight for the U.S. Air Force. As a part of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, the fighters participated in over 15,000 combat trips in Europe, escorting bombers in raids throughout the continent and shooting down 109 Luftwaffe planes. The group's impressive combat record heavily influenced the War Department and the federal government's decision to desegregate the military.

Several of the surviving airmen were invited to Lucas' Skywalker Ranch to record oral histories of their war experiences, and much of the film will be based on their accounts. Lucas hopes to begin filming by the end of 2008 or early 2009. The film's script was written by John Ridley, whose previous writing credits include Three Kings (The Force is strong with this one). In regards to who will actually direct the film, Yoda put it best, "Impossible to see, the future is."

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