For his next trick, franchise-despoiling superproducer George Lucas has opted to abandon his long-delayed follow-up to Howard the Duck—having deemed the character not "sacred enough to really warrant a full-on sequel violation"—and instead has turned to the inspirational true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American combat squadron to fight in World War II:
Lucas hopes to begin shooting by year's end or early 2009, McCallum said. The movie's title refers to the color of their fighter planes' tails, which were distinctive and allowed U.S. bomber crews to know they were being escorted by the aggressive Tuskegee Airmen.
"It is a story of incredible adventure and enormous courage," said the producer, who's scouting locations for "Red Tails" in Prague, Czech Republic, and Italy. "I think the story will speak to anyone who has ever wanted to succeed at something others told them was impossible."
Lucas plans for the movie to be based on the historic record that brought the Tuskegee Airmen fame, drawn from their own accounts.
Regardless of how closely Red Tails adheres to oral accounts, you can bet that factual stickler Spike Lee is already sharpening his knives in anticipation of Lucas's hopelessly honkyfied take, eventually noting that "this proud moment in African-American military history has no business being ushered to the screen by a guy whose image of the black man is limited to that of Darth 'homocidal mouth-breather' Vader and Lando 'oversexed slick-talker with his head in the clouds' Calrissian."