by Marco R. della Cava.
At his sprawling ranch north of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, producer George Lucas explores a range of film topics with USA TODAY.
Why Red Tails took 23 years to make:
“I wrote the script many years ago, and it turned out just like Star Wars in that it was way too big for one movie. There was the story of how they got trained at Tuskegee (Institute in Alabama), and how Eleanor Roosevelt became their champion. Then there was the battle movie that had piqued my interest initially. And finally the amazing saga of the start of the civil rights movement after the war. So this literally went on for 20 years, trying to get it all into one script, which meant leaving out many things we loved and going mainly with the war story and hinting at the rest.”
Why he financed the film himself:
“Everything I do is defensive. I got into a position (to finance projects) right after The Empire Strikes Back (1980). I didn’t need to have studios telling me what to do, picking movies for me to make, having me change them and recut them. My first two films (THX 1138 and American Graffiti) were recut, and I said I just don’t want that. If I’m going to live or die by my movie, I want to be able to say, ‘Yeah, that was a terrible movie, I made a mistake, sorry.’ I don’t want to have to say I made a great movie but you guys destroyed it.”
Read the rest of this article from USA Today.
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