George Lucas has more riding on this weekend's Red Tails than you realize. As much crap as we all give him for things like the Star Wars special editions, The Phantom Menace 3D, and the most recent, unpopular edition of Indiana Jones, he's put together a big, epic World War II blockbuster with an all-black cast - something Hollywood refused to show any interest in, for decades - using his own damned money. We've seen the film, and can say that it was money well spent. But what now for director/entrepeneur/whipping boy George Lucas?
He's taking his ball and going home.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Lucas said that he's done making blockbusters after this. Of course, he's been threatening that for years, but now he seems pretty serious about it. "I’m retiring [...] I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff." After Red Tails, he's going to focus on, as The New York Times puts it, "They’ll be small in scope, esoteric in subject and screened mostly in art houses. They’ll be like the experimental movies Lucas made in the 1960s..."
So what happened? Well, it sounds like we finally got to him. You know, one of the reasons why fans got so worked up about George Lucas as a person was because he so unflappably ignored all of their often-legitimate critiques of creative decisions of late. They were his movies after all. In the interview, Lucas cites that the fans who complain about his Special Edition changes are, themselves, also changing the movie with fan re-edits. "I’m saying: ‘Fine. But my movie, with my name on it, that says I did it, needs to be the way I want it.’" Fine, we think the fanboys all agreed, but can we at least preserve the originals too? George Lucas doesn't go into that, but as for all those naysayers - a group which, in all honesty, includes us - Lucas, rather fairly, says the following: "Why would I make any more when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?"
But despite all this, Lucas stills says he's on board for one more Indiana Jones movie. He also defends the "Nuke the Fridge" incident in The Kingdom of the Crysal Skull by saying that he did his research, and that if Indiana had found his way into a lead-lined fridge, managed not to break his neck in the blast, and also to get the door open from the inside, his odds of surviving that nuclear bomb were "about fifty/fifty." That said, he also confesses that it was "my silly idea."
We strongly encourage you to read the complete interview at The New York Times. It's a spectacular piece that includes some fascinating coverage on how Red Tails was developed, and greater detail on Lucas's mindset today.
CraveOnline will be back with more George Lucas news after we find out how TK-421 is doing.