George Lucas Retires From Blockbusters & Accepts Blame For The Fridge20.01.12 # News # 4 Comments
George Lucas has a new movie out in the US and it has nothing to do with The Force. Rather it is Red Tails, a World War II-set dogfighting saga based around the real-life exploits of a group of African-American airmen. However, having been forced to stump up the full cost of Red Tails‘ production and distribution from his own out-sized pockets, Lucas is apparently feeling rather jaded with big-budget filmmaking – to the point of possible retirement.
“I’m retiring,” says Lucas. “I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.” Rather the Star Wars creator is reputedly returning to the kind of esoteric art films which he has eschewed since his feature debut, THX 1138, failed to find any kind of meaningful audience.
It’s a potential move which has already found favour with the producer of that debut flop, Francis Ford Coppola – the Apocalypse Now director remarking, “Now that [Lucas has] demonstrated hos commercial moviemaking abilities, it’s time to show his other side.”
The source of this change of direction in his autumn shade could be interpreted as Lucas feeling he has achieved all he ever wanted to achieve with Red Tails. Or it could be he is sore that his WWII actioner was passed over for distribution by the major studios, with him being left to pick up the cost; with this and the production budget taken into account, the endeavour is reckoned to have cost him just shy of $100m.
Whether Lucas is really chancing his hand at becoming the next “Merry” Terry Malick or not, one thing is for sure, he has admitted that the infamous scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull where Indy survives an atomic blast by hiding in a refrigerator was all his idea – despite Steven Spielberg taking the blame for it previously.
Lucas, however, is relatively unrepentant about the much-maligned set-piece, noting that serious evidence was sought in a bid to give it some basis in fact. “The odds of surviving that refrigerator,” says Lucas, “from a lot of scientists, are about 50-50.” Yes, George. Whatever you say George.