George Lucas to Retire (Probably)
In a New York Times profile today that's already starting to gain momentum on the Internet, Star Wars and Indiana Jones filmmaker George Lucas told the newspaper that he's ready to hang up his--well, whatever it is a director would hang up when he retires. "I'm retiring," Collider quotes the Times article as saying. "I'm moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff." After 23 years of working on Red Tails, his film about the Tuskegee Airmen, it'll finally be seeing release this week and Lucas told the Times that's pretty much it. In spite of reports that suggested Lucas was considering a trilogy that centered around the characters, Lucas told the Times that he opted to go for a more mainstream, popcorn version of the Tuskegee Airmen's story than the"Lawrence of Arabia version" that would have followed the characters from the early days of their training, through the racist environment they returned to after the war. Lucas's longtime producing partner Rick McCallum was somewhat less definitive, saying that Red Tails was the last of the projects that Lucas has been waiting to make, but that he hopes to see Lucas return to smaller, more personal filmmaking now that he's done "everything that he actually wanted to do." It should be noted that, while he seemed to express no interest in doing so right away, Lucas left himself wiggle room to make a fifth installment of the Indiana Jones saga--something that's ostensibly been in development since about five minutes after the fourth one hit theaters. He categorically ruled out more Star Wars films, citing negative fan response to each new thing that he does with the property. Said McCallum on Lucas's future, "I think he can set upon the next chapter of his life and figure out, 'Okay, do I have a new set of films, a new kind of films that I want to do?' And that's what we hope and wait anxiously to hear from him on." For the moment, though, he doesn't appear to be working on anything at all.