Friday, February 26, 2010
Say what you will about George Lucas, but when the man sets his mind to something, you can bet he's going to get it done one way or another. Such is the case with Red Tails, the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during WWII, as an inside Secret Squirrel source told me that Lucas (serving as executive producer) was very displeased with TV director Anthony Hemingway's work, and is taking it upon himself to direct some massive reshoots. With these re-shoots come some hefty re-writes which I'm told completely change the main characters and their storylines.
Principal photography wrapped in November last year with Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Bryan Cranston starring in a fictional story of the historic and heroic exploits of America's first all black aerial combat unit in WWII. While the film is supposed to be in post-production right now, instead, 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. Combine that massive undertaking with an attempt to keep from going over budget if at all possible (even though this is a Lucasfilm project), and McCallum should be feeling quite a bit of stress about this project.
No word on how soon these re-shoots will be taking place (or specific details on the re-writes behind them) or how much this will delay its release. Either way, this doesn't bode well for Red Tails or Hemingway, who might find some difficulty getting more work in the future. On the flipside, Lucas hasn't exactly been at the top of his game as of late, but maybe directing something outside of the Star Wars universe will allow him to show the side that struggled to get films like American Graffiti out. Like the Winter Warlock in that old claymation "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," I hope he has just a little magic left to put on the big screen.
Update: Lucasfilm has been emailing various websites claiming that this story is inaccurate, however we are standing our ground and not changing our story, because we know that everything above is accurate and true, despite what Lucasfilm says. Other webmasters with deep industry connections have started supporting us as well, saying, "Lucasfilm Red Tails story is 1000% accurate, nuff said." Despite what you may be hearing about this story elsewhere, our sources are legitimate and this scoop is 100% accurate.