Lucasfilm Ltd. announced April 6 that it has begun production on Red Tails, a fictional World War II film inspired by the Tuskegee Airmen, the United States’ first all-black aerial combat unit. The film, directed by Anthony Hemingway (The Wire, Battlestar Galactica) and written by John Ridley (Three Kings), is based on a story penned by Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator George Lucas. It will soon begin principal photography in Europe.
“I’ve been wanting to do Red Tails for 20 years, and we’ve finally got the means to showcase the skill of the Tuskegee pilots,” Lucas said in a statement. “We’re working on techniques which will give us the first true look at the aerial dogfighting of the era. And our top-notch cast will really make this story special.”
The cast includes Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire), Oscar nominee Terrence Howard (Crash), Emmy winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) Nate Parker (The Secret Life of Bees), David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland), Tristan Wilds (The Wire) and Grammy winner Ne-Yo (Stomp the Yard).
“I’m thrilled to have such a fantastic cast of actors and such a talented director to work with,” said producer Rick McCallum. “The story of the Tuskegee Airmen represents a milestone in American history, and we’re all proud to be paying tribute to their heroic efforts. That cultural significance is not lost on anyone in this great young cast.”
A release date for Red Tails has not been announced.