The first look behind the scenes of producer George Lucas' World War II biopic Red Tails have surfaced. The last we heard from the set, George Lucas was none too thrilled with director Anthony Hemingway's work and ordered re-shoots that he himself would direct, but that later turned out to be false. Even though these photos appear (according to the film slate) to be over a year old, an inside look is an inside look.
Red Tails stars Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr. in an ensemble cast that hopes to successfully tell one of WWII's most intriguing stories. While we don't see the big names in action, the photos focus a little more on the planes and cameras. So, if you are a fan of either, this is a batch worth checking out.
The set photos are pretty in-depth compared to what is typically snuck off a production, so this may be an organized release. We get a look at the monitors mid-shoot, various locations and a few planes in air and in front of a green screen. And if you absolutely need to see George Lucas standing around talking, there is a photo of the Star Wars saga creator.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but one of the photos appears to show director Hemingway showing a former Tuskegee Airman the production. Maybe he is an on-set consultant to help assure of historical accuracy. Based on his attire, he seems more the former.
We all need to sit back and hope George Lucas' contribution to the film is not only limited, but also strictly from a visual standpoint. The massive green screen in one of the photos proves he isn't too far behind the action, but then again, most aerial fight scenes in movies implement green screens. It's only logical. But probably one of the best sequences in the Star Wars prequels was the pod race and if he can bring the same intensity and visuals to this film, it may be a heck of an action epic.
The images from monitors show a production aiming for look similar to that of HBO's war mini-series like The Pacific. The colors and tones just seem to mirror that look, which is a great thing. Visually, the Spielberg-produced war films and miniseries have been a treat. But the story has guided them. It will be essential for Red Tails to explore a compelling story, as the Tuskegee Airmen are a fascinating group, but unlike Flyboys, the filmmakers need to bring us in with the characters.
The rest of the set photos glimpse into the sets and action of the film, but if you love your cameras, there is a nice shot of some of the Sony equipment being used.
It will be interesting to see Hemingway's take, considering this is his first foray into film after four years of directing television. As a first or second unit director on some major productions like Ali and The Manchurian Candidate, he is not a total rookie on set, but he's no Spielberg. Frankly, that was my hope when this project was in talks - Spielberg directing and Lucas producing. They are best buds after all.
We've already seen a biopic of the famous airmen of WWII in the form of a made-for-TV movie called The Tuskegee Airmen starring Laurence Fishburne and Cuba Gooding, Jr. But it is a tremendous tale of triumph and deserves a big-budget theatrical release like this.
Red Tails is set to release in 2010 and it is currently still in post-production.