George Lucas' 'Red Tails' will finally hit theaters


George Lucas has been talking about Red Tails for a long, long time. If you look closely, you can find the film’s title mentioned in nearly every major article written about Lucas in over a decade. Especially during the slow-but-steady release of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, the Red Tails project began to take on the aura of myth: It was the Film George Lucas Would Make Next, lurking just over the next dune. (To quote Spaceballs: “You said that three dunes ago!”) The film — which tells the story of the heroic African-American pilots in the WWII-era Tuskegee program — finally went into production a couple years ago, with a cast that included Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Bryan Cranston.

The film is credited to director Anthony Hemingway, but Hemingway’s commitment to HBO’s Treme meant that the director had to step away during a period of reshoots, thus leaving Red Tails open to future “Did George Lucas actually direct it?” theories (just like Spielberg and Poltergeist or Howard Hawks and The Thing).

Now, Red Tails finally has a release date: According to a press release issued by Lucasfilm, the film will open Jan. 20, 2012. Conventional wisdom says that late January is a strange time to release an epic war movie, but since when has George Lucas ever followed the conventional wisdom?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Read more:
George Lucas Q+A
The Dark Side of Bryan Cranston

Comments (58 total) Add your comment
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  • Jenn

    Very disjointed article. Rookie job.

    • The Grammar Nazi says…

      What is ironic is that you mock the author’s grammar while using two incomplete sentences.


      • Andrew

        Whoa Nellie. Psycho-sycophant alert. Must be an EW employee out to defend their fellow beast.

      • Joe

        The grammer nazi is also an obessive scremer. CAP ON, cap off.

      • Joe

        Don’t beat me, Grammer Nazi, I meant ‘screamer’

      • The Grammar Nazi says…

        Have you ever seen the Seinfeld “Soup Nazi” episode?
        “NO SOUP FOR YOU!”
        I don’t enjoy correcting the mistakes of random people. I enjoy pointing out the mistakes of people that criticize others for making mistakes.

      • Grammer Joe

        Funny how Joe corrected ‘scremer’ but not ‘grammer’… Oh, that Joe he is such a dumbscicle…

      • The Grammar Nazi’s superior says…

        “I enjoy pointing out the mistakes of people WHO criticize others…” is what you intended to write. Right?

      • Tom

        the one thing I have been waiting for since star wars was seeing jar jar in a bomber jacket

    • Robert

      Um, ok. I thought it was fine.

    • C Men

      She also just slammed him on his Battleship trailer blurb. What a loser.

  • Andrew

    Writers of articles now come to message boards to curse people out just because they didn’t like their work. How disgusting.

    • Barack Obama

      If you think for a minute that is actually Darren, you’re insane. I’m Barack Obama, and I approve this message. (see how easy?)

      • The Easter Bunny

        Hey, don’t forget about me! Oh, hold on…the Tooth Fairy wants to get in on this. She says Jenn was always a brat.

      • Tooth Fairy

        I’d think twice about eating chocolate that comes in a basket from a bunny. You don’t know where those bunnies have been or if that chocolate is home made or not.

    • Santa Claus

      yeah Andrew. And by the way, you WILL be getting coal in your stocking this year

    • I C U

      Marvel Comics Spider-Man writer Dan Slott curses people out on message boards all the time. He was rewarded by Disney by plastering his name on the front cover of a Spider-Man comic. Slob Slott said the reason people were taken back by his cursing out someone was because they weren’t used to hearing him use the word F***. Then he tweeted F*** like fifty times. Yes, this is the end of the world, where the little people are rewarded for their littleness.

      • dave

        Well you and 50 other people know that story so I’m going to go ahead and say who gives a F***.

      • Dave’s mother

        You do if you took enough time to comment on it. What a numbskull. Now I know why the doctor slapped me instead of you when you were born.

      • greg

        Way to make your point by incorrectly relaying another story from around the internet. Slott cursed out 1 fan in 1 instance where that fan was incredibly rude and later apologized. The point Slott made in a later post was that what made the “story” newsworthy is that while other comic book writers (like Warren Ellis and Mark Millar) swear all the time, this was one of the only times in 20 years people could point to him doing it.

        Maybe it’s the “end of the world” where anonymous people on the internet can spread BS around the web so they can feel better about themselves.

  • DavidJ

    There was already a pretty good Tuskegee Airmen movie, with Laurence Fishburne.
    And the fact this is coming out in January isn’t exactly a good sign…

  • will

    I was hoping for a HOWARD THE DUCK prequel.

    • Tom

      That’s his best work since star wars. There is no way Red Tails is going to be better than Howard the Duck. Unless it’s free to go see, and you can erase my memory of ever watching Howard the Duck?

    • Tooth Fairy

      George Lucas always does the sequels before the prequels. So we get to see Howard The Duck 2 first. It’s called “Howard The Duck 2: The Rotten Egg.
      In smellievision

  • Jeremy

    Wasn’t there a movie about the same airmen on HBO a few years back? That starred Laurence Fishburne AND Cuba Gooding Jr. Is Cuba now resigned to playing the same characters over and over again? Show me the money. Show me the money indeed.

  • Me

    The previous movie was ‘The Tuskeegee Airmen”, which was an excellent movie. I hope this one does the pilots proud. They never lost a bomber they were escorting!

    • Kevin L.

      The “no bombers lost” claim is in dispute – see the Wikipedia page for a discussion. It may have been wartime propaganda repeated often enough to be considered fact.

      • sienna scorpio

        Wikipedia isn’t a reliable, credible source (for the most part). I’ve corrected entries on that site many times.

      • XTTitan

        They never lost a bomber to enemy fire from the air. There was no way for them to stop anti-aircraft fire from the ground. But no other plane shot down a gunship they escorted.

  • Dumbledore Fluffernutter

    Say what you will about Lucas, but the man has a nice head of hair.

  • Andrew

    I am such an idiot.

    • Tooth Fairy

      I second that. I’ve been in his house.

  • harry

    I can’t wait!!!



  • harry

    I just saw the trailer and it looks bloody epic!!!

  • Dee Jones

    `Tuskegee Airmen` was a good movie. How will this be different? Also will the film be released in limited release in December of this year?

  • harry


  • Josh

    January opening + tons of reshoots=Best picture nominee! See you at the oscars!

  • Koozebane

    As long as George doesn’t direct and Jar Jar isn’t in it, it could be a good film.

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