The film will be titled, Red Tails, and is currently in preproduction, with a late fall, early 2009 production schedule. No word yet on casting, but I should note that Laurence Fishburne did star in a 1995 rendition called The Tuskegee Airmen, which was produced by and aired on HBO, although it also got a very limited theatrical run.
So it looks like maybe Spike's got a little competition here - much better funded competition I might add; and even though both films will be released at least a year apart, and deal with different factions, I'm sure there'll be comparisons. I can't say George Lucas inspires much excitement in me. He's proven to be a better visionary than a director, although, I'm sure he'll throw a lot of money into this; so, at the very least, we can expect something of a spectacle.
I'm sure Spike will have something to say about this!
From Yahoo Movies:
The black airmen whose lives will be the basis of a George Lucas movie know the picture will highlight their record of successfully escorting thousands of U.S. bombers in World War II.
They also feel it should tell of the trials they encountered stateside, like seeing German prisoners of war being treated better and afforded rights that were withheld from black American citizens.
Now that "Red Tails" is in preproduction, some of the airmen say they are excited their story is coming to the big screen but torn over how much it should devote to each of their two historic fights — against Adolf Hitler abroad and Jim Crow at home.
Lt. Col. Eldridge F. Williams, 91, wants the film to recount the discrimination they had to overcome in their own country. Williams, who served in the military from August 1941 to November 1963, said a white doctor's false diagnosis of an eye condition kept him from achieving his dream of being a pilot, though he became a navigator.
"I think the story that has not been told is stories like mine in which the home battle that was waged ... shall we say, helped open the door so that the unit could enter combat and demonstrate its capabilities and be successful," he said.