Once he's finished producing Indiana Jones IV(still no official title, sigh), George Lucas will make a movie about the Tuskegee Airmen ... finally. Apparently, he's been talking about doing this since Howard the Duck (according to Harry Knowles' memory), and it was long assumed to be a dead project. While I don't remember anything from twenty years ago, I do recall Lucas and Rick McCallum mentioning this to IGNback in 2005. At the time, the movie, titled Red Tails, was expected to begin production within the year and the producers were meeting with Tuskegee vets. Two years later, Lucas has just now found his screenwriter: John Ridley. Apparently Ridley has written Spike Lee's L.A. Riots script, Lucas got his hands on a copy, and sees Ridley as the best fit to write about African-American pilots in World War II.

Personally, I'd have already pinned Ridley as perfect for the project by imagining a mix between the screenwriter's past work (Three Kingsmeets Undercover Brother? Yes!). However, it could be a little more serious than we're used to from him. After recently meeting with Tuskegee vets in Texas, he may want to give the survivors a respectable tribute. It may still be awhile before we get to see Red Tails, which will be overseen by Lucas but produced by McCallum and Charles Floyd Johnson (CBS' Navy NCIS), because Ridley is just getting started on his script. The writer also has his directorial debut in the works, an adaptation of James McManus' Positively Fifth Street. Although viewers have already seen the Tuskegee story in a 1995 made-for-HBO feature (The Tuskegee Airmen, starring Laurence Fishburne and Cuba Gooding, Jr.), Lucasfilm's movie sounds to be a lot bigger, with ILM doing the aerial fight sequences. As long as it doesn't look as cartoony as the WWI-set Flyboys, that could be appealing. Almost like the Star Wars space battles, but with planes!
categories Cinematical