George Lucas retiring over non-funding of black action flick
London: George Lucas has revealed that he is retiring from making blockbuster movies as Hollywood refused to fund his latest movie because it has a black cast.
The ‘Star Wars’ creator has been working on his latest venture ‘Red Tails’ for 23 years, but had to finance it himself after rejections from major studios.
The film is being released in US cinemas on Friday and tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, a pioneering group of black pilots who fought in the Second World War.
It stars Cuba Gooding Jr and Terrence Howard, and is overseen by black director Anthony Hemingway.
“I figured if I could get the prints and ads paid for by the studios that they would release it,” the Telegraph quoted the 67-year-old filmmaker as telling the New York Times.
“I showed it to all of them and they said ‘No. We don’t know how to market a movie like this’.
“It’s because it’s an all black movie.
“There’s no major white roles in it at all.
“It’s one of the first all black action pictures ever made,” he said.
Lucas said the 58 million-dollar budget was “reasonably expensive” and studios were used to movies with black casts being made for less.
He was also told the studios did not believe there was a foreign market for the film.
The director, whose movies have made billions of dollars, said one studio’s executives didn’t even bother to turn up for the screening of ‘Red Tails’.
“Isn’t this their job? Isn’t their job at least to see movies?
“I’m retiring. I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff,” he added.
He intends to return to making experimental, low budget art house films of the kind he created as a student.