Lee Tergesen will play Col. Jack Tomlinson in
this movie about the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American
pilots to fly in a combat squadron during World War II.
The character is "someone who supported the
Tuskeegee Airmen," Lee said during a red-carpet interview at the
premiere Jan. 10, 2012, in New York. "It's based on an actual guy
who was was a liaison to the Pentagon who fought to get them their
Filming took place Czech Republic, Croatia and
Italy during the spring of 2009, but reshoots continued into 2010.
With each report that surfaced about the movie, the release date
continued to be pushed back. The release date was finally set for
Jan. 20, 2012 -- near the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
The movie will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and
digital download on May 22, 2012.
The executive producer of the film is George
Lucas -- of Indiana Jones and Star Wars fame -- who has been trying
to develop this film for more than 20 years. Lucas wrote the story,
and it was turned over to novelist/screenwriter John Ridley to write
the screenplay. The director is Anthony Hemingway, who worked on
The movie features fast-paced aerial scenes as
well as an
all-star cast, featuring Cuba Gooding Jr.,
Terence Howard and Bryan Cranston in lead
roles. The ensemble cast also includes
Method Man, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, Andre Royo,
Nate Parker, David Oyelowo and Tristan
1944. World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in
the balance. Meanwhile the black pilots of the experimental
Tuskegee training program are courageously waging two wars at
once – one against enemies overseas, and the other against
discrimination within the military and back home.
Racial prejudices have long held ace airman Martin "Easy" Julian
(Nate Parker) and his black pilots back at base - leaving them
with little to do but further hone their flying skills - while
their white counterparts are shipped out to combat after a mere
three months of training. Mistakenly deemed inferior and
assigned only second-rate planes and missions, the pilots of
Tuskegee have mastered the skies with ease but have not been
granted the opportunity to truly spread their wings.
As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied
forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these
under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young
Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped
back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the
ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above.
Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in
broad daylight - a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused
it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial
losses - Easy's pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray.
Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to
lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in a heroic
endeavor to combat the enemy – and the discrimination that has
kept them down for so long.
The movie is in a lengthy post-production
period because of the amount of computer graphics/special
effects to be done. Some scenes also
have been re-shot. Here are various reports about potential
release dates and reasons for delay:
+ In a
Twitter on June 2, 2011, director Anthony Hemingway said
that "Red Tails hits screens January 2012." Recent reports had also
noted that Jazz musician Terence Blanchard is scoring the film,
perhaps indicating an end to the post-production process.
+ In an
interview Oct. 25, 2010, Lee Tergesen said that he had just done "some looping,
some ADR" (which means automated dialogue replacement).
"George Lucas told me was that it was going to come out in August
," Lee said. "I guess they’re doing a pant load of CGI stuff
that is taking them a long time and they did some reshaping in the
story. I’m not really sure what’s going on."
+ On the
Facebook page for
"Red Tails" on Jan. 14, 2011, a fan named David DeLorean
Bittan reported that he had just talked on the phone with producer
Rick McCallum's office at LucasFilm. "What I was told is that it's
NOT coming out this year (2011), and will most probably be released
sometime in early spring of 2012. They are NOT done with production
from what I was informed and are still in the reshoot process. I
asked whether or not it was still going to be released ... and was
told that they needed to find a distributor."
Bittan admitted that he misrepresented himself
as a member of "a local veteran's organization," which he admits
wasn't exactly the most ethical thing, "but hey... I DID get some
+ In an
interview posted March 28, 2010, actor Bryan Cranston said
the movie has "A lot of CGI ... There was green-screen in the
backgrounds, so we shot in a controlled environment set in
Prague and it was fun. Very educational and entertaining. And I
think they have a tremendous amount of green-screen to do and
they’ll put, you know, whatever backgrounds they think are
appropriate behind us. That sort of thing."
interview with MovieWeb posted Sept. 15, 2010, actor Michael
B. Jordan was hesitant to say much:
"I am not sure, exactly, what the finished product is going to
be right now. ... The story did change. It is a sticky
situation. ... I don't know which direction the film is taking
in post." In a reply to a question regarding George
Lucas stepping in to direct part of the film, Jordan said. "I
don't want to be the bad guy in this case but no comment. I'd
like to tell you as much information as I can, but I have to go
with 'no comment' on that one."
+ Actress Daniela Ruah had more light to shed
on the situation in an
interview with Collider posted Oct. 2, 2010:
was directed by Anthony Hemingway, and then George Lucas wanted
to change some of the tone of it and decided to direct it
himself, so we had a few re-shoots and I got to work
specifically with George Lucas on those re-shoots."
+ On Feb. 17, 2010,
Digital Spy carried the report that Lucasfilm denied rumors
that George Lucas and Rick McCallum were unhappy with director
Anthony Hemingway and were planning to make significant changes to
the movie. "George Lucas and Rick McCallum are very pleased with the
work Anthony Hemingway did directing the film and additional
shooting that is scheduled to take place was built into production
before it began, as it is on all our films."
Other reports mentioned that Lucas is directing reshoots of scenes because
director Hemingway already had prior commitments to direct
episodes of the HBO show, "Treme" and wasn't available to direct
the reshoots, which are being characterized as a routine.