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Director George Lucas Seemingly Done Making Blockbuster Films?

by
January 17, 2012
Source: Collider, NY Times

George Lucas

With the three Star Wars prequels in his past and his second passion project finally hitting theaters in the form of Red Tails later this month, it sounds like filmmaker George Lucas is ready to step away from show business altogether. Well, at least he's doing to be done making the kind of films we've come to expect from the man behind such iconic franchise as The Star Wars Saga and the Indiana Jones series. Though Lucas recently told The NY Times, "I’m retiring. I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff," longtime producing partner Rick McCallum doesn't think Lucas is done completely.

In speaking with Collider, McCallum says Red Tails is basically the last film that Lucas has really wanted to make, but there may be different kinds of movies still percolating inside the flannel-shirted filmmaker's mind. Here's what the producer had to say:

“Red Tails is the last of all the films that he ever said [he wanted to make]. He started 23 years ago on Red Tails and now he has fulfilled everything he set out to do, which no…very few filmmakers ever get an opportunity to do. He’s done everything that he actually wanted and planned to do, including more American Graffiti, including the revised version of [THX]. He got to be able to do everything that he actually wanted to do.

Now, with [Red Tails] completed, a little bit of rest, now I think he can set upon the next chapter of his life and figure out, ‘Okay, do I have a new set of films, a new kind of films that I want to do?’ And that’s what we hope and wait anxiously to hear from him on.”

At the very least, it sounds like George Lucas might do what his fans have been calling for over the past few years. It doesn't sound like Lucas will be making anymore Star Wars movies, and just might be done playing around with the universe on film altogether. On the idea of making Episodes 7, 8 and 9 Lucas says:

“Why would I make any more, when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?"

Obviously the director is sick of the naysaying, but having some new Star Wars movies out of the hands of George Lucas wouldn't be so bad. And it sure as hell beats him messing with the old trilogy. Either way, it sounds like Lucas is just tired, and he might just need a break. After all, he's been talking about returning to smaller films like THX 1138 and American Graffiti with the potential of becoming the truly gifted auteur he was in his younger years. American Graffiti is one of my favorite films of all time, and if he can return to that kind of personal, homegrown film, I'd love to see Lucas step away from blockbusters for an indie film. No matter your view on the Star Wars universe and Lucas' meddling with it, you can't deny the man's impact on cinema and the legacy his work leaves behind.

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  • tinman
    i was all into the star wars movies, ( the good ones 456)  when he decided t0 make the sequels "pre 456" movies i found it to be a money grab.  there is no way that a person with his type of "passion" would ever risk messing up the trilogy unless he really was in need of financial help.  when it comes to such a massive movie basis such as the star wars series, serioulsy, stop messing with it.
    • TheLaughingMan
      Or he could've just wanted to bring the first 3 chapters of SW to life.I mean its his creation so let him expand upon it anyway he wants.
      • Anonymous
        Good point, Laughing Man. The last time I checked, the SW films were LUCAS' creations--not some drooling, manic fanboy trolling the Ain't It Cool News talkbacks.  If he feels the need to add to them or tell the tales of the prequels, that's Lucas' right as the creator. And let's face it--it's very easy to sit at your keyboard and fling the poo about how Lucas sucks (not that you said that, but others have), but at the end of the day, he achieved his vision his way.  He brought his universe out of his mind and into the real world, and inspired and influenced generations.  That's quite an achievement, and it's something that NONE of his wailing critics will ever match.
        • Anonymous
          GL didn't even like Episode 1.
          • Dresden King
            What is your basis for this? The fact that he has to joke it off or risk getting into a fight with everyone that bashes it?
          • Anonymous
            @332b724c748af540718e23f7abe3b751:disqus Watch Plinkets review for Phantom Menace (its absolutely hilarious, but 70min long). he has footage of the first screening for Episode 1 where George and his producers are all watching it. when it ends the producers just sit there dumb faced, and George starts listing what is so wrong about the film. Its quite sad
    • Anonymous
      ""passion" would ever risk messing up the trilogy unless he really was in need of financial help." Uh....really?  Where are the facts to back this assertion up?  SW merchandising--the books, comics, toys, video games, models, clothing--has made Lucas a very wealthy man.  Not to mention that the companies he helped to found are doing very well and probably kick a few bucks back to him.  And there are dozens of filmmakers, both American and foreign, who go to mix their films at Skywalker Ranch.  I don't see how Lucas is hurting for cash, but that's just me.
      • Tester
        Scopedog, I agree, I dont think he did it for the cash.. Regardless, he is not a good director nor writer and I wish he would have never made those 3 prequels
        • Anonymous
          I hear you Tester....granted, what's done is done. And, let's face it, it isn't as if the movies were the only avenue into SW--for people who are p'od at the prequels, I recommend the KTOR games and the KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC games.
  • Jean-Philippe ALLANGBA
    fair enough
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQoJo81lujk Crapola
    Finally. We can sleep better at night knowing now 3d generated gophers will be sneaking into our films. Cheers George.
  • Lebowski
    I think George should bin the movie business and focus on shedding some of that neck fat, cos that shit looks properly unhealthy. 
  • Anonymous
    Finally! He can write scripts from his cave, but leave the film making to someone else. I'm genuinely interested in Red Tails, but if there was ever a hope of SW 7,8,&9 coming out, I hope someone else makes them.
  • varth dader
    It is amazing how people just bash George Lucas for not meeting their expectations on the prequels. I'm 44 years old. I was 10 years old when his vision of the future unfolded before my eyes on the silver screen. Thank George for adding adventure and fantasy into the children that we once were. Episodes 4,5,6 always mean more because we were kids and now we are adults an  find faults in his prequels. Why? Because we don't have the minds of children. You ask a child what they like about Star Wars and they will tell you they love it not criticize and tear up George Lucas. Granted there were some things that I would done different in the prequels, but I still loved all the movies. I would still love to see more of the Star Wars universe, whether it be episodes 7,8,9 or maybe from the Unleashed video games , but I don't think this will ever happen because George Lucas doesn't feel appreciated. Hopefully maybe if he doesn't want to make anymore Star Wars movies, then maybe he will give his blessings to some else to continue the story that we all love.                                                                  THANK YOU GEORGE LUCAS
    • Anonymous
      I was 11 when i saw Phantom Menace and i still hated it.
    • Anonymous
      "I would still love to see more of the Star Wars universe, whether it be episodes 7,8,9 or maybe from the Unleashed video games , but I don't think this will ever happen because George Lucas doesn't feel appreciated." Well, the STAR WARS universe still continues in books (such as the HEIR TO THE EMPIRE series), comics, and video games that go beyond the Battle of Endor in ROTJ to at least 4,000 years before EP IV (such as the KTOR games and the new KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC MMORPG).  In a sense, we've already gotten Episodes 7,8, and 9, since all the books, comics, and video games are all considered "canon" (of course, there are exceptions, such as the SPLINTER OF THE MIND'S EYE novel). I felt the hatred towards the prequels crossed the line, especially the attitude that Lucas had "ruined" SW and he had no right to do anything to the films.  Which is a pile of shit.  It's his films, and whether we like it or not, he has the right to take them and change them and go in different directions if he chooses to do so.  Some fans seem to forget that THEY are not in the driver's seat; it's the original creator who is.
    • Johnny Neat
      I hear you but he desecrated our youth as far as Star Wars is concerned. He could have shared his supposed vision alongside how we were given and loved it by him giving us the ability to own the original theatrical releases of ep 4-6 in high def... But no, his ego and bad revisionist tastes shitted all over our memories and his original classic. Fans and film lovers should be and or feel insulted by his callous and error prone revisionism.
  • jack
    what the HECK is that thing under his chin?
    • Billmanthy
      He swallowed Princess Leia in her bikini :P
    • Richardokewole
      Attach a picture of urself before you start talking shht. He's talking about his movies ur focusing on his weight wondering why he says people don't appreciate him. Get a life you fuck. You probably look like a walrus and this is from someone who doesn't like the new star wars but stop attacking his appearance. I'm sure u look terrible urself
  • DAVIDPD
    Put a fork in him.
  • grimjob
    Personally, I love the SW movies. All of them. I see them as one story, one amazingly epic story. Sure there's flaws here and there, and god knows Lucas made some horrible choices with the changes he made, but they're still fun to watch. Episode III is probably my favorite, because I LOVE Palpatine and watching his plan come to fruition just gets me. I hope someday a new trilogy comes out, as I am always down to get sucked into that universe.
    • Anonymous
      EP III...yeah, McDarmid was just incredible as Palpatine, which is one reason why I liked the film (of course, seeing Christopher Lee in EP II and III was another).  As for a new film trilogy....well, unless they do something like the LEGACY comic series and set it in the "future" of the SW universe, then I don't see that happening.  But there are enough books and comics and video games that go beyond the events of ROTJ; think of those as Episodes 7,8,9..... BTW, I highly recommend the LEGACY comics.  I won't spoil them except for this: nearly 150 years after the original trilogy, a descendant of Luke Skywalker, and badass sith.  Oh, and the Empire's sort of back.
      • grimjob
        Dig it. I'll try to check those out.
  • Sigurjon
    He is starting to look like Yoda!:)
  • Dom
    mans got old - he hasn't done half as much as his colleague Spielberg who's still going strong!
  • http://twitter.com/darktaxidermist Davide Coppola
    I'd love to see him return to American Zoetrope and working with Francis!
  • Filmfan122
    wow he is fat.  He ruined SW with mediocre prequels..And ruins Indy Jones with the new awful one as well.  He has been washed up for a long time now. And Film fans can only hope that he allows someone else to take over and make new star war films that are less concerned about how much CGI they can fit in a frame and more concerned over the acting and storytelling. By the way.. Kids hate the prequels too.
    • peloquin
      That's mean and unwarranted...I understand why he wants to quit after dealing with faceless people like you his whole life.
  • http://twitter.com/QuanahTweets Quanah
    I'd want to quit too if I made billions and still got ridiculed daily for "ruining" my own creation. Not to mention all the fanboys and fangirls wishing me death! Unreal. I saw an interview with him on how hard it was to make Red Tails because no studio wanted to deal with a cast of African-Americans. Good for him for making his movie and telling those studios to kiss his ass. I feel for the guy.
    • Anonymous
      Agreed.  I mean, at some point the words will cut very, very deep, especially if they're coming from a bunch of untalented armchair filmmaker schmendricks. I wasn't too fond of EP 1, but I was appalled at the level of venom spewed at it.  That he had so much passion for RED TAILS and he managed to get it made despite all the obstacles he faced....well, he's used to that, and he got it done.  More power to him.
    • Johnny Neat
      I'm sure the mutual feeling across the board is that everyone who loves/loved Star Wars gives/gave him thanks, but his own ego has gotten in the way of common sense or rather respect for his own work and its/his fans. Where is Star Wars Ep 4-6's theatrical versions in HD? Plus tinkering without regard for fans' feelings and respect for the originally shown work hurts in many ways. Hans was the only shooter, Darth Vader didn't talk when he dropped the Emperor and no, Sebastian Saw is the redeemed Vader, not Hayden Christiansen.
    • Paul
      I think the "no cast wanted to finance a cast of African Americans" is a convenient fallacy.  There have been movies with all black casts financed by Hollywood studios in the past.  More likely,  Lucas wanted too much money and the studios balked at a heavy CG-induced budget.  Also, maybe a first time director is looked upon as a big risk.
  • Anonymous
    George, in his student days, was a very promising artistic film director and experimentalist. Star Wars took him in a different direction (Not a bad thing, mind you.) If he can let that go, I think it will be interesting to see what he does.
  • Richardokewole
    And the Guys that chose that pic of all pics to put up of him are idiots. Whoever runs this site should delete the messages left talking about how he looks. That's not what the sites about right?? And he ain't broke. He put 58$mil of his own money into Redtails.
  • Johnny Neat
    I don't care for the prequels. I liked that to have stayed in our imaginations, what said in the original trilogy and in the expanded universe books/comics etc. My main problem is with his revisionism on the original trilogy and his lack of respect for fans of those by not making the theatrical versions of them be released in HD. He could have done like Spielberg did with Close Encounters and or learned the lesson of not being a revisionist like Spielberg now acknowledges in his E.T. revisionist fiasco. George in the end is still insecure and an ego maniac. It's all compounded by how most of his re-tinkering is inconsistent. With all his fuck you money and talented people at his company, you'd think they would have gotten everything right the first trip down revisionist road. I guess he's such a sensitive tyrant that no one could point out the changes that made little to no sense or weren't working. Fixing overlooked mistakes and or cleaning up effects and or make up etc is one thing, but changing things for the sake of changing this caused more issues than they were worth. I pray Steven's change of heart and realization in the errors of revisionism will eventually convince Lucas to come back from the dark side and he'll bestow upon us the theatrical versions of the original trilogy for us old school fans and appreciators of film history.
    • Johnny Neat
      P.s. I remember showing my son and my god son who were aged 7-8 years old as to which Star Wars trilogy they liked and they unshockingly to me chose the originals. They just have memorable and loveable characters. Money and higher budgets can't make the synergy in a good piece of work I guess.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQoJo81lujk Crapola
    It is a bit of a shame for George, Star Wars geeks are a world unto themselves with all the crying about the new movies, but they do pay for his ranch so they can have their moan. I was never that bothered by the new films, they were just Star Wars, but shinier. Someone said they had saw the re-Lucassed version of THX and said it was really weird when it would have all this mad 3d generated effects going on in a weird arty scifi film. I find that he has been able to go back and tinker with things, most artists would complete something and move on, maybe out of desperation re-use an idea, but not rework a painting over and over and add in some Atats. I think one of the weirdest things I've ever viewed with my eyes was those gophers in 'Indiana Jones and the crazy alien skulls', what were they there for? Why? And the friend anti-Russian monkeys? Seriously. But he does have more money than me so that makes him right.
  • Anonymous
    I like every Star Wars movie, I'm disappointed he won't be making any more. I won't yell at you George. You're a good guy.
  • Soth
    I will never get this "ruined my childhood" crap. I saw all three back in the day as a kid. (Star Wars at age 8 in florida 1977,Empire at age 11 in New York 4 times and Jedi in 83 at age 13). Had all the action figures, traded cards ,bought the soundtracks. I saw all of the Indy's as well. Those memories will last FOREVER. No one could take that away. However, I always felt the problem when he made the prequels was that he changed the approach. For Indy Jones and all three originals, he came up with the fucking excellent stories but he COLLABORATED with people like LAWRENCE KASDAN and rotated directors. Even his wife pitched in at some point with editing. BRIAN DIPALMA even helped him with the original crawl!! For those movies, he had first, second and third drafts in the writing of the screenplays. Unfortunately it was an arduous process that created a lot of financial calamity and he even put up his own house at one point. Bank of America even refused funding at one point. Unfortunately, now that he was in position when he could fund the three without blinking and get any willing actor, he did it this new way that didn't produce as thematically rich a product. All that said, I still can watch the prequels and still wish he had invested more time on Darth Maul
  • Guest
    You know everyone bashes George but think about this, he's one of the only filmmakers out who lets (and admires) fans that make non-profit derivative works out his creations. Try making an X-Men fan film, FOX will destroy you with legal fees. 
  • Anonymous
    I have nothing but respect for George Lucas but his re-tinkering all the time was getting annoying to the point he was practically forcing people to update their home video copies.  He changed the way cinema is today hands down which is a blessing to all us movie goers. For him to go out there and stand up for what he feel is right against those studios especially in making redtails a reality just leaves you speechless. You are the man George but stop tinkering!!!
  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FDVZH5MADWJGE4HBHQXITKKM3E Alexis Lords
    Look, Lucas can make all the star wars stories he wants. He owns them yes. I can go on and on about how the new movies suck and fail terribly as films, not just star wars films, they are just terrible movies, poorly written, confusing plots, plot holes, NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, etc. But Star Wars (1977) was the first blockbuster, it changed forever the movie industry, society, inspired a generation around the world. It was a cultural phenomenon. ANd for whatever reason he refuses to release the original, and actually goes out of his way to confiscate old prints of it. He is trying to remove it from history.  He is guilty of revisionist history, he is depriving the world of a true treasure. George if you want to remake Star Wars, have Luke replaced with a CG 20 foot talking butt plug, have han and greedo shoot themselves, raise a race of super intelligent apes and have them continue revamping the old movies for centuries after you are dead for all i care, but PLEASE just give us and history a chance to see this historical film the way it was released. We get that you Mr. Lucas hate it and think we are idiots for liking it that is fine, just let the idiots have their little movie and hell even charge us 100 bucks a pop for them. Just don't be a douche and get mad and take your toys and go home. Please for future generations, let the world have Star Wars. ...but you wont because you are more machine than man now, twisted and evil.
  • Blade Runner
    So sad to see George Lucas hears the bad but not the good from his SW movies. I watched the first 3 as a kid back in the 70's, early 80's and now as a father, I watch the prequels through the eyes of my daughters. And I enjoyed all 6 movies. Remember some movies are made for fun. I think some people forget how to enjoy life and let go a little. Saw PM3D today with my 12 year old and I loved watching her wide eyed enjoying the moving like I did SW at 9 on the big screen popcorn in hand.
  • Fml_Its_Rocky
    No, keep goin with the star wars 7 8 9 hell yeah plzzzzz! 

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