A new Associated Press story about Red Tails, George Lucas’ long-simmering flick about the Tuskegee Airmen, provides a few details about the movie, but clouds the waters with respect to a potential director.
Most of the article is based on conversations with men who flew in the unit escorting bomber planes during WWII. The airmen were based out of the Tuskegee Air Field near Montgomery, Alabama, as part of an ‘experiment’ to see if black men could be trained to fly planes. The pilots achieved renown for their combat abilities, but faced common prejudice when out of the cockpit. The 1940s truly were the greatest years.
Things AP tells us: The film is in pre-production, with Producer Rick McCallum saying that Lucas wants to be shooting end of ’08 or beginning of ’09. Locations are being scouted in Prague, Czech republic and Italy. AP confirms that the main story is based on first-hand accounts of surviving airmen, as scripted by John Ridley.
The implication throughout the article, if only by virtue of omission, is that Lucas is directing. If that’s the case, and locations are going to be used to any degree, the movie possibly represents a return to classic moviemaking for Lucas. It would be groundbreaking, in a way.
Yeah, that’s a lot of conjecture, and I don’t really believe it either.
UPDATE: IGN claims to have insider info that Lucas does not plan to direct, and has been meeting with potential helmers. The site has heard one name in contention, but doesn’t specify anything beyond the comment that it’s not an A list director.