THE OBENSON REPORT

Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

George Lucas Tackles 'Tuskegee Airmen' In Next Film

Wow, I guess "African Americans in World War II" movies are suddenly becoming de rigueur! Whoulda thunk it?

This time, billionaire George Lucas, the man who brought us all those Star Wars movies, and their shitty, irrelevant prequels, as well as being partly responsible for the abomination that was this summer's Indiana Jones movie, will assume directorial duties, with a script from John Ridley, the African American journalist/writer who brought us Three Kings (also a "war movie"), and lest we forget, Undercover Brother.

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.

Read the rest HERE.

5 comments:

  1. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...
     

    On the pros side: At least they have a black person writing the script.

    On the cons side: This is the guy who gave us Undercover Brother.

    Hey, in the 70s they tried to capitalise on the black movie-going audience with black local champions via Blaxploitation. In the 00s they're going with black war heroes.

    Could be worse, could be Hip-Hop heroes. Oh, wait...

    In any event, I guess all we can really do is wait and see... and that's just to see if Spike tells George to shut his face or vice-versa!

    :D

  2. The Obenson Report said...
     

    Three Kings was actually a good flick... you wouldn't even know that it was written by the same guy who created Undercover Brother. I suppose that speaks to his versatility as a writer. He's also the same fellow who wrote that incendiary, polarizing piece in Esquire Magazine about a year ago titled "The Manifesto of Ascendancy for the Modern American Nigger." I had to dig for it to reacquaint myself with it. Here's a link to it: NIGGER

  3. Jacqueline Hamilton said...
     

    Hello Tambay,

    Be careful, several of us direct descendent of the Tuskegee Airmen are still alive and enjoy projects being done on our parents who are Highly Honored Military Veterans. George Lucas has dared to take on a project of hidden military history that proved extreme intelligence and excellence on the part of African Indian American and African American men, and in a time of continuous Middle Eastern terrorism and conflict and the electing of an African American President. Those of us who grew up post WWII in the homes of these distinguished Tuskegee Airmen had to learn how to carry on our legacies and succeed in several different ways and are some of the most gifted and multi-tasking indivduals on the earth.

    In being the daughter of one of the Tuskegee Airmen who accomplished extremely rare success before, during, and after the time of WWII, I must also state that I have several of the same qualities and am constantly being stalked and targeted for Identity Theft, and other crimes and am dealing with extremely evasive people here in Los Angeles, CA about the crimes.

    Please know that any literary, audio, and video work done on the Tuskegee Airmen is of valued historical nature due to their success in truly contributing to the accomplishment of the receipt of civil rights and fair treatment of many, including yourself.

    As you view the previous Tuskegee Airman movie starring Lawrence Fishbourne please note that some of the lead characters included conbinations of several of the characteristics and information of our parents who were the actual Tuskegee Airmen but that the information was mixed, convoluted and/or changed for the movie. We as the descendents must notify the public that these movies may contain information for the enjoyment of the public or those creating the movie, but to also encourgage reading of the actual books that contain the true information, such as the books "Tuskegee Heroes" and "Lonely Eagles". These books contain the actual information and also include special awarding of medals and awards. You will see the actual information on my father, Tuskegee Airman LT John Lewis Hamilton, from Mississippi, the first to be awarded the Purple Heart Medal of the 99th Squadron who also had an Expert Markmanship Badge with an Aerial Gunner Bar, that can be compared to the character "Lewis Johns" played by Mekhi Phifer in the previous Tuskegee Airman movie, who was killed during flight training. His character contained information from another airman of a similar name Lewis John Lynch of Lousiana. However, the character resembled my father in appearance but my father lived after his flight training and WWII duties, and well into the 1980's.

    Let me know if you and anyone writing need more information or visit our website to view us, http://www.tuskegeeairmen.org.

    Best Always,
    Jacqueline Hamilton
    Daughter of WWII USAAF Tuskegee Airman and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
    LT John L. Hamilton
    Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.
    USC Med Cor
    Tomorrows Aeronautical Museum
    LAX Focus Group
    LAX Master Plan Stakeholder Group
    Nike Club Run LA
    Say No To Drugs Race
    etc...,

  4. B2jet said...
     

    Bravo Jacqueline Hamilton! I'm Japanese American who's Uncle served in the 442nd and received a battle field commission. It's projects like these that tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen Heroism and teaches the latest generation how these honorable men not only fought our nations enemies, but prejudice and left a Highly Successful Combat War record that has never been surpassed nor can it ever be denied. As a former Air Force officer, the lessons and success of the distinguished Tuskegee Airmen are taught to us in AFROTC and Squadron Officers School. One has to remember that this film is not only about preserving the history of the Tuskegee Airmen, but it is a way to Honor their distinguished service and to teach us how to overcome adversity. Bravo Jacqueline Hamilton!

  5. B2jet said...
      This comment has been removed by the author.

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