Lucas hires writer for Red Tails
George Lucas has pulled in the talents of John Ridley to write his World War II fighter pilot film called Red Tails which tells the story of the American Tuskegee airmen who became the first African-American fighter pilots in U.S. history.
Well that statemet is according to Variety as I'm not entirely sure that's correct, there were various races of pilots that flew in World War I wasn't there? I would suspect that they were perhaps the first squadron rather than just individual pilots.
However what this does show is that George Lucas has had the great wisdom to realise that he shouldn't write this himself, after all what do we need with a strange creature who is there for the comic value flying next to World War II fighter pilots, or any half baked romantic storyline between a pilot of dubious morals and some politically involved woman back home?.
Anyway, John Ridley recently wrote the L.A. Riots screenplay for Spike Lee and when Lucas read it he realised that this guy could do a great job on the Red Tails script. Now Ridley has been off to meet the surviving members of the squadron. Of the project Ridley said:
"These were guys who had to figure everything out for themselves, because military units were completely segregated at the time and there was no seasoned war pilot to teach them...President Roosevelt formed the unit as a publicity stunt because he wanted the black vote for his re-election campaign, but these guys were such skilled pilots that they ended up becoming true heroes by escorting bombers in North Africa and Italy"
He also says that ILM are going to bring the audience into the cockpit of these planes as the young pilots engage in dogfights with little or no training, something which I'm sure they'll do amazingly. We've already experienced such effects in Flyboys (Filmstalker review), except that needed a damn good plot to go along with it, perhaps Red Tails will do just that.