There was reason to be excited for George Lucas’ next movie, Red Tails. It didn’t take place in a galaxy far, far away, but in 20th century U.S. history and told the compelling story of America’s first African-American air combat squadron, the Tuskegee Airmen. Best of all, Lucas didn’t write or direct it. He was only going to produce.
And then FirstShowing had to go and ruin my day. The site reports that Lucas is unhappy with director Anthony Hemingway’s work (shooting wrapped in November), and is now conducting extensive re-writes in preparation for massive re-shoots.
Hit the jump for details on how Lucas plans to bring his “magic” to this project.
According to FirstShowing, “Lucas’ producing partner Rick McCallum is said to be pouring over dailies right now, trying to salvage whatever footage they can from Hemingway’s work in order to figure out exactly how much will need to be re-shot.” That’s terrific, but I imagine that massive re-shoots will involve trying to work around the future projects of stars Terrence Howard, Bryan Cranston, and Cuba Gooding Jr. (okay, maybe not so much Cuba Gooding Jr). Additionally, Lucas’s re-writes, “completely change the main characters and their storylines.”
George Lucas once knew how to direct, but he was never a great writer. His passion is technology and as that passion has grown, his approach to storytelling has become cynical and secondary. And if you think that he was a good writer at one point because he wrote the original Star Wars trilogy, you’re wrong. Read Laurent Bouzereau’s Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays and you’ll see that Lucas had a lot of help and I doubt he’ll have any creative collaborators in re-working Red Tails.