It’s two nearly two decades since George Lucas completed his producing work on The Land Before Time, and since the faithful year of 1989 he has hasn’t produced, written or directed anything that wasn’t Star Wars or Indiana Jones. Well that’s not strictly true as he did come up with the story for the instantly forgettable 1994 comedy Radioland Murders but apart from that, he has never again dabbled in anything outside of those two worlds, content in revisiting characters and the same situations, happy for the paychecks to keep coming through the door.
Over the last few years though the much maligned billionaire has often spoke of his desire to make an epic movie set around the Red Tails – who were the first African-American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during World War II but the cynics among us have dismissed the probability of it ever being made.
Maybe we shouldn’t be so skeptical any more. Lucas said the following when asked by Coming Soon what status the film was in, after the last we heard on the picture was in August when John Ridley (Undercover Brother, Three Kings) was hired to scribe the screenplay…
“As a matter of fact, I’m working on it tomorrow,” he told us, much to our surprise. “We’re getting towards a script, and probably start shooting before the end of the year, and it should come out next year, maybe. That’s probably going to be the last movie I do, apart from my own movies, but my own movies are going to be more esoteric and probably will come and go in a week and be in one or two arthouses. It’s basically the same as what Francis (Ford Coppola) is doing.”
Presumably “apart from my own movies” refers to future films in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises which he is intent on returning to in the future I think. But then, it can’t be really because he is talking about arthouses and the like?
Is Lucas really planning on making some dramatic works of artistic sentimentality as either a director or producer in the near future? Surely not?
I can’t fathom what else that quote could possibly mean.
Good news on the Red Tails picture I guess. I would love to see Lucas really produce something amazing here, something that puts the last two decades completely behind him and is a new fresh start for the guy who has lived in the past for way too long.
If your serious about making movies for the rest of your life Mr. Lucas, then see this as a new start for you my friend. Remember, your only as good as your last few movies and although you have had nothing to prove to anyone since 1977… you must be itching to lower the abuse and the “raped my childhood” discussions that plague the fanboy message-boards.
Whether it’s in arthouses or multiplexes, I’m glad you still have a passion for making movies. Leave those Star Wars flicks alone… and you will have support from me on each picture you make.