“Red Tails”: Lucas pisses off his target market?

Or at least 50% of it.  George Lucas has gone on record stating that his latest film, about a squadron of African American fighter pilots in World War II, is the biggest budgeted black film Hollywood has ever made… and he had to pay for it out of his own pocket because no one else would take the risk.

Why’d he do it? 

He’s been telling anyone who will listen “I’m making it for black teenagers…. They have a right to have their history just like anybody else does… and they have a right to have it kind of Hollywood-ized and aggrandized and made corny and wonderful just like anybody else does. Even if that’s not the fashion right now.” (source: Bryan Curtis for the NY Times)

But Lucas has pissed off some African American women by not including any of them in the story in any significant fashion.  At least one blog is wondering why black women would even be interested in attending the movie.  That is not going to help Lucas achieve his goal of a $20 million open (and bad reviews like this one from Mark Jenkins of the Washington Post won’t help much either).

I like Lucas, I revere the Tuskegee Airmen and I want to love this movie, but honestly, the trailer looks pretty lame, even in spite of all the high-flying action.  Still, when George appeared on The Daily Show last week to promote this film, he seemed sincerely interested in not only telling the story of these forgotten heroes, but also in refuting ancient Hollywood wisdom that insists that movies with all black casts can’t make (big) money.   This weekend we’ll see if Lucas is right or wrong.

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2 comments

  1. HakSnider33 · March 21, 2012

    We fight! We fight! We … errrr we get suckered by jingoistic nonsense like Red Tails into enlisting and end up dying in wars fought on the behalf of oil companies.

    So, George Lucas is now positioning himself as an indie filmmaker, instead of spending time with his full time job of pimping toys to kids through juvenile movies filled with characters repeatedly uttering “I have a bad feeling about this” or “Weeza …”?

  2. Late Night · March 21, 2012

    LOL!

    C’mon, Lucas has always positioned himself as an indie, from his groundbreaking deal to trade points for merchandising, to his decision to set up shop in the Bay Area instead of Hollywood. He’s just the most powerful indie ever.

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