Confirmed: George Lucas is Directing the Red Tails Reshoots

March 1, 2010

Red Tails / George Lucas

Just over a week ago, we broke the news that George Lucas, who was displeased with director Anthony Hemingway's work, would be directing some heavy reshoots for the upcoming Lucasfilm production of Red Tails, the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. Shortly after the story gained steam, a representative from Lucasfilm denied our report as "completely inaccurate." But now, in the new print edition of Entertainment Weekly (scan of the article here) comes confirmation that Lucas is indeed directing reshoots on the film, but supposedly only because Hemingway is busy working on the HBO series "Treme" for David Simon instead.

However, let's think about this for a second. In their denial of our inital report, Lucasfilm said "additional shooting that is scheduled to take place was built into production before it began, as it is on all our films." But if that's the case, and these aren't unexpected reshoots, then why weren't they built into Hemingway's responsibilities and at least penciled into his schedule? Apparently Lucas simply doesn't want to wait for Hemingway to finish his work on "Treme" for these reshoots, but can anyone recall another time when an executive producer/financer for a film who happens to be a high profile filmmaker, takes over the reigns for something as simple as "scheduled" reshoots four months into their post-production time? A bit strange.

This is all very fishy, and since we have more than a couple sources standing behind our story, we're sticking to it. Especially because if this was all planned from the beginning and only a scheduling issue came up, then why have we heard from each of our different sources that producer Rick McCallum is seriously sweating and stressed out about Red Tails. Apparently Hemingway will get an opportunity to approve everything that Lucas is shooting, but what if he doesn't like it? Is Hemingway going to do new reshoots? Sorry, but this just doesn't jive and I can't help but going with an old Lucas mainstay quote: "I have a bad feeling about this."

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lucas is not a director, someone stab him in the face. proof? 4,5,6 where not directed by him and were awesome. 1,2,3 were directed by him... seriously he is amazingly bad at it, props for the world he created and the vein he tapped into in america's heart, but christ someone gently nudge him away from this.

nick on Mar 1, 2010


Man, what a dick. Why didn't Lucas direct it himself?

MonsterKilledThePilot on Mar 1, 2010


Him and Spielberg raped Indy up against a pinball machine....I will never forgive him.

Cody on Mar 1, 2010


Well, it's an unusual situation. Most producers don't actually pay for the entire film themselves. If it's Lucas's cash on the line, of course he doesn't want any delays that could end up costing him more money. I do feel a bit sorry for Hemingway if he's been pushed out, though...

Mathieu on Mar 1, 2010


Hmmmm . . .interesting.

PJ on Mar 1, 2010


Oh, and #1? Star Wars WAS directed by Lucas and he was very hands-on on Jedi as well.

Mathieu on Mar 1, 2010


George Lucas i hate you so god damn much

DoomCanoe on Mar 1, 2010


Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, is a 1977 American space opera film,[3] written and directed by George Lucas. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. The screenplay, based on a story by George Lucas. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American space opera film directed by Richard Marquand and written by George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan. Oh well i didn't realize 4 was directed by him, but still I feel my comment stands.

nick on Mar 2, 2010


I'm in. willing to give lucas another chance, in reality Spileberg ruined Indy and lucas was just the fall guy! Ha! paranoid much?

Xerxex on Mar 2, 2010


If there's one person who understands African's George Lucas! Bwahahahahahahahhahhaaa

Bum Love on Mar 2, 2010


George Lucas gets too much hate these days. His first three films as director - THX 1138, American Graffiti and Star Wars (Episode 4) - are great films, modern classics, the last of which reinvented cinema. The prequels are... well... not classics. I think much of the blame can be attributed to the scripts rather than his direction; if the actors had had better dialogue to deliver most of the other elements would have fallen into place. I live in hope that he has another great film in him, but he needs to get over his obsession with technology and CGI. I won't judge his involvement on the Red Tails reshoots too harshly until we know for sure the circumstances of the situation and the quantity of footage that he is replacing. If he has effectively kicked the director off the project, his big screen debut, that seems a bit cruel.

Mathieu on Mar 2, 2010


Mr. Lucas, You are PRODUCER. Please HIRE a director. If you are unhappy with the results, first get a second opinion, then if they agree with you, HIRE a new director to re-shoot. Trip P.S. Stop sucking on the teet of SW, don't make them 3D.

Trip on Mar 2, 2010


Note to George: Try NOT to cut between more then 2 or 3 different scenes, no need to top 4 like in Phantom

David Banner on Mar 2, 2010


Has it occurred to anyone that maybe, just maybe that the reshoots were actually part of the production schedule and that maybe, maybe, Hemingway's work isn't that great, hence the reason Uncle George decided to step in on the reshoots? Again, I understand it's common practice to destroy Lucas online (stupid if you ask me) but we don't know the full story. It could be just as simple as what EW reported. Lucas isn't the devil. People just really need to get over the fact that Lucas made the Special Editions of the Original Trilogy. Guess what? It wasn't like he was the only one at Lucasfilm that wanted to change a few things to the original films. The godfather of visual effects, Dennis Murren, is actually quoted as saying that he wanted to change things too.

Cory on Mar 2, 2010


According the American Cinematographer magazine, Lucas fired Hemingway, an African American, because he felt that he just didn't understand black people. Lucas was quoted as saying: "I want a realistic portrayal of African Americans and how they speak....and after watching Nick at Night for a few years in my diamond-studded e-z chair while eating pork rinds and drinking hennesey...frankly, no one knows black people better than me."

Bum Love on Mar 2, 2010


George Lucas and his Rick McCallum cronie really grinds my gears

Voice of Reason on Mar 2, 2010


Thank God he's directing something that's not Star Wars. His best directed film is American Grafitti and he needs to be making more films like that.

SlashBeast on Mar 2, 2010


That's funny: Ethan Anderton tries to help himself. But he was wrong: in its first report (in February), was talking about "hefty re-writes which I'm told completely change the main characters and their storylines" . And Entertainment Weekly denies it. So Entertainment Weekly doesn't confirm Firstshowing's report !! The question is : why it's Lucas and not Hemingway? We have not the answer, but I think it's because of the contract between Hemingway and HBO: Hemingway is not alone involved in the HBO project. So I can't see Lucas asking him (and HBO) to stop this project just for additionnal shootings of Red Tails...

scorpius on Mar 4, 2010


I am reading a lot of comments on this site from people who are basically uneducated as to the filmmaking process. George Lucas has had his hits & misses, as have most producers in this industry (i.e. Howard the Duck). He does not, however, crank out films just for the sake of cranking out films. He is in a position that allows him to be selective about his work and the craft in general. At this point in his career, any film that he puts his name on is going to be done his way, and rightly so. As far as the "firing" of Hemingway is concerned, I have it on very, very good authority that the two men clashed in several areas, but the principal area of concern was not that Hemingway "didn't understand black people"-it was that he didn't understand black people of the 1940s. Black culture today is vastly different than it was in the 1940s, and apparently Hemingway was trying to infuse in his characters some modern era behaviors that are simply not accurate for an African American military pilot in 1944. There are going to be some elements in this film that do not portray black culture in a flattering light, but it is necessary to accurately depict the mindset at the time (and the vast majority of "unflattering light" in this film is going to shine on white America of the 1940s). This film is intended to be a tribute to courageous African Americans who rose above adversity when it mattered most. George Lucas is George freaking Lucas, and is going to make his movies his way, simply because he can. If you don't like it, too bad-go watch the latest secret-agent-guinea-pigs movie instead. "Red Tails" is going to be an awesome film, because George Lucas wouldn't have it any other way.

Patrick on Mar 31, 2010


it's impossible not to be fustrated by the talent that is geogre lucas if only he would let go of the creative reins. looking at the comments on here i find it difficult not to agree with these sentiments especially as we were promised so much in the lastest star wars series notably PM and ROTH of which my whole experience was spoilt 1st by the enigma that wwas jar jar and 2ndly by the hammy perfomance of ("you're breaking my heart anni") natalie portman. i would go further and say that his rep hasn't been enhanced by his involvement with the new clone wars animated series,overall this movie is not a piece of fiction in which we can suspend all reality it is real history in the sense that it will bear some influence how that period in history is presented to the world.

bluethunder on Jul 6, 2010

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