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George Lucas "retiring" from making blockbusters


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Kind of a non-announcement, but news for Lucas fans nonetheless.

 

George Lucas Is Ready to Roll the Credits

 

This was a new feeling for George Lucas. He made a movie about a plucky band of freedom fighters who battle an evil empire — a movie loaded with special effects like no one had seen before. Then he showed it to executives from all the Hollywood studios. And every one of them said, “Nope.”

 

One studio’s executives didn’t even show up for the screening. “Isn’t this their job?” Lucas says, astonished. “Isn’t their job at least to see movies? It’s not like some Sundance kid coming in there and saying, ‘I’ve got this little movie — would you see it?’ If Steven (Spielberg) or I or Jim Cameron or Bob Zemeckis comes in there, and they say, ‘We don’t even want to bother to see it. . . .’ ”

 

Lucas sighs. It’s true that the movie, “Red Tails,” is a biopic about the Tuskegee Airmen rather than a space opera starring the Skywalker clan. But the snub implied that Lucas’s pop-culture collateral — six “Star Wars” movies, four “Indiana Jones” movies, the effects shop Industrial Light and Magic and toy licenses that were selling (at least) four different light sabers this Christmas — was basically worthless. When “Red Tails” opens in theaters on Jan. 20, it will be because Lucas paid for everything, including the prints.

 

Lucas, who is 67 and still in possession of the full pompadour, told me his story of rejection on a cold December morning at Skywalker Ranch, in Marin County, Calif. He was sitting on a maroon sofa in the animation studios, wearing his standard billionaire-casual outfit — a flannel shirt with rolled-up sleeves, jeans and Nikes — while Padmé Amidala, the heroine of the “Star Wars” prequels, peeked down from two paintings arranged on either side of his head.

 

“I’m retiring,” Lucas said. “I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.”

 

He was careful to leave himself an out clause for a fifth “Indiana Jones” film. But otherwise, “Red Tails” will be the last blockbuster Lucas makes. “Once this is finished, he’s done everything he’s ever wanted to do,” says Rick McCallum, who has been producing Lucas’s films for more than 20 years. “He will have completed his task as a man and a filmmaker.”

 

Lucas has decided to devote the rest of his life to what cineastes in the 1970s used to call personal films. They’ll be small in scope, esoteric in subject and screened mostly in art houses. They’ll be like the experimental movies Lucas made in the 1960s, around the time he was at U.S.C. film school, when he recorded clouds moving over the desert and made a movie based on an E. E. Cummings poem. During that period, Lucas assumed he would spend his career on the fringes. Then “Star Wars” happened — and though Lucas often mused about it, he never committed himself to the uncommercial world until now.

I can seek how he'd be insulted over his treatment by the studio heads, but like the article says--he basically has enough money to make whatever film he wants however he wants w/out studio involvement. And we saw what that mentality has brought us--three SW prequels and Indy vs Aliens. :???:

 

I do have interest in this Red Tails film, not b/c of Lucas, but b/c I'm a WWII buff. It's an important story and one I hope that's been done well. We shall see...

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