In recent years George Lucas has become something of a whipping boy for film fans, who cite his revisionist approach to film-making as tantamount to heresy.
Well, they might be able to get on their high horses again with news that Lucas was so unhappy with director Anthony Hemingway’s work on the film that he has ordered (and will direct) “massive” re-shoots for his forthcoming producing effort Red Tails.
Red Tails is a fictional tale of the real life Tuskegee Airmen, who were the first African-American pilots to fly in the Second World War. Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr headline the cast of the forthcoming film.
Principal photography wrapped on Red Tails in November, but First Showing reports that “hefty” rewrites are taking place and that producer Rick McCallum is looking at all the footage that has been shot to ascertain how much re-shooting needs to be carried out to meet George Lucas’ vision.
First Showing is also reporting that Lucas' company Lucas Film is emailing movie sites around the web stating that the story is totally inaccurate, but the site says that they are standing by their scoop – so what is really going on?
It's hard to say – the film could be in trouble, but like quite a few directors Lucas loves to save some time (and budget) for "pick-ups" or re-shoots once the film has gone into the editing process. These take place so that he can fix things that don't work or insert footage that helps tell the story more fluently. Lucas saved about two weeks for this on each of the recent Star Wars prequels. In fact in Episode One you can see the extent of these re-shoots by Ewan McGregor’s hair (and weight) in the film. The actors hair length fluctuates from being very short, to being much longer (a wig) and his weight seems have increased by the time the re-shoots rolled around.
I’ve no doubt that re-shoots are taking place on Red Tails, and that (at least part of) what First Showing heard was correct, but the film might not be in trouble, Lucas could just be finessing the film to meet his vision – after all he has been talking about this project for over a decade, and why shouldn’t he direct so second unit work if he wants (there could be worse choices for second unit director).
I have to admit that I’m a Lucas supporter, and I don’t hate the prequel films (or Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) like most and I’m always interested in what Lucas has to offer (especially outside the Star Wars universe) so I think we should hold off judgment until we at least see the first trailer.
More on Red Tails when we get it!
Source: First Showing