Earlier this week, director George Lucas, executive producer and writer of the new movie Red Tails, was the guest on The Daily Show. As he sat down with Jon Stewart, Lucas discussed the difficulties of getting Hollywood to market “one of the first all-black action pictures ever made”. Lucas indicated that the movie studios did not have incentive to release this movie since it was not “green” (which both Stewart and I interpreted as environmental initially) and they would not know how to profit off of it. Additionally, “They don’t believe there’s any foreign market for it, and that’s 60% of their profit”.
It’s almost hard to believe it, but Lucas is probably right. As he discussed it, black films typically are the Tyler Perry movies (or Eddie Murphy comedies) and are generally lower budget releases. At its budget, Red Tails cost more to make than those other films even earned and the self-financed film ($58 million plus distribution) took Lucas 23 years to develop. Eventually, the discussion turned towards Lucas’ more renowned effort, Star Wars and comparisons were made between the trilogy (I’m ignoring the prequels) and Red Tails. You should watch the clip to see why (hint: prequel).
The night after his interview, Lucas and the stars of Red Tails, including Ne-Yo, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Nate Parker and David Oyelowo, were out in New York at the Zeigfeld for the premiere. Incredibly, seven of the remaining original Tuskegee Airmen, war heroes each and every one, were also present and posed together on the red carpet. Although PopMatters has yet to see the film, we thought we’d share some photos from the premiere with you.
George Lucas and Mellody Hobson
Elijah Kelley, David Oyelowo and Tristan Wilds
Michael B Jordan
Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
Cuba Gooding Jr
Deborah Roberts & Al Roker
Francis Ford Coppola
Dr Roscoe Brown (One of the Tuskegee Airmen)
One of the Tuskegee Airmen