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On The Daily Show recently, George Lucas told Jon Stewart that it took him decades to get Red Tails made. He wasn’t exaggerating. Lucas fought tooth and nail to get the historical story of the Tuskegee Airmen made, and the battle seems to have exhausted him. So now that Tails is set to open, what passion project will light Lucas’ fire and get him ready to create once again?
Um … well, it’s funny you should ask. Lucas, 67, tells The New York Times that he’s basically going to retire. “I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff,” he said, calling Red Tails the last blockbuster project he’ll work on (though leaving the door open to a fifth Indiana Jones movie, which has been hinted at by Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford, though both say the ball’s in George’s court.)
Instead of directing space epics, Lucas will go the route of Francis Ford Coppola, making small and intimate films that pretty much no one will want to see. I’m kidding. Lucas’ THX 1138 is interesting, but if we’re being honest, that came out nearly 41 years ago. Since then, Lucas has directed four of six Star Wars films and produced enough hits to keep 10 generations of Lucas family members in the black.
Is Lucas really done with blockbusters? Probably not. As the extensive NY Times feature proves, the man thinks big, and routinely swings for the fences. Sometimes, he misses, as when Indiana Jones crawled into a refrigerator in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. And on that note, Lucas defiantly states that it was his idea, and even came up with a dossier to prove that Indy indeed would survive a nuking of the fridge.
“The odds of surviving that refrigerator — from a lot of scientists — are about 50-50,” Lucas told the Times.
And the odds of the director being eviscerated by fanboys for that comment are closer to 100 percent.