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George Lucas puts up 60 million for Red Tails movie

Do you plan to see Red Tails this weekend? If not, you should.. And Here’s why!

It took George Lucas 23 years to get ‘Red Tails’ — the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all black aerial combat unit during World War II — produced and in theaters. The film, which Lucas calls his passion project, included not only an all black cast, but black screenwriters, a black director, and a black film scorer, something that he says Hollywood was not trying to support or finance. Many thought that this movie would never see the light of day, but with an all star cast including Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Tristan Wilds, Ne-Yo, Method Man, David Oyelowo, Ryan Early, and Kevin Phillips, we finally have the first blockbuster all black action movie that not only brings drama but drops knowledge about an important part of history.

There is already a prequel and sequel to the film in the works, however, those movies will never be released if people do not go out to the theaters this weekend and prove to Hollywood that there is still a market for black films. George Lucas revealed on The Daily Show recently that he had to finance the film himself and that even with his track record of franchises like Star Wars and Indiana Jones, the movie industry wasn’t convinced that an action movie with an ‘all black cast’ would do well.

“[The studios] said [Red Tails is] not green enough. 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. It’s a reasonably expensive movie. Normally, Black movies—Tyler Perry movies or something—they’re very low-budget,” George said. “This cost more than what those movies make, so they figure…They don’t believe there’s any foreign market for it.”

George also revealed that he put up $60 million of his own money for the film (which had a $93 million dollar budget) because he felt it was an inspirational story for teenage boys.

I wanted to make an inspirational for teenage boys. I wanted to show that they have heroes. They’re real American heroes. They’re patriots that helped make the country what it is today. It’s not Glory where you have a lot of White officers running these guys into cannon fire.”

Meanwhile, Tyler Perry, who has been heavily criticized for his ‘stereotypical’ films over the years, encouraged his following to go out and support the film because ‘black films’ are becoming extinct. He posted on his website:

Unfortunately, movies starring an all African American cast are on the verge of becoming extinct. THAT’S RIGHT, EXTINCT! Ask any executive at a Hollywood Studio why, and most of them will tell you one of two things. The first thing they’ll say is that DVD sales have become very soft, so it’s hard for a movie with an all black cast to break-even. Secondly they’ll say, most movies are now dependent on foreign sales to be successful and most “black” movies don’t sell well in foreign markets. So what that means is you will begin to see less and less films that star an all black cast. Isn’t that sad in a 2012 America? Somewhere along the way we still haven’t realized that we are more alike then not.

George decided to take a huge risk by entirely funding the movie and releasing it himself. What a guy! For him to believe so strongly in this story is amazing. I think we should pull together and get behind this movie. I really do! Not just African Americans, but all of us

Check out the trailer and make sure you go out and see the movie this weekend!


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