Red Tails is an upcoming 2012 action drama film directed by Anthony Hemingway, from a screenplay by John Ridley and Aaron McGruder. The story, written by Ridley, is inspired by true events. George Lucas serves as the executive producer for the project. It is based on the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American U.S. service members during World War II, and is the first Lucasfilm production since Radioland Murders (1994) not associated with the Indiana Jones or Star Wars franchises. This movie stars Cuba Gooding, Jr., who previously starred in another movie title based on The Red Tails called The Tuskegee Airmen on HBO. It is Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s first theatrical release in five years.
George Lucas began developing Red Tails around 1988 with a scheduled release in 1992. He compared it to Tucker: The Man and His Dream as "a story too good to be true". Thomas Carter was his original choice to direct.A number of writers worked on the project until John Ridley was hired in 2007 to write the final screenplay. Lucas held discussions with Samuel L. Jackson regarding Jackson possibly directing and acting in the film. Although Jackson praised the script, he did not commit to either role. Anthony Hemingway was finally chosen to direct in 2008. In researching the film, Lucasfilm invited some of the surviving Tuskegee Airmen to Skywalker Ranch, where they were interviewed about their experiences during World War II. Lucasfilm was also given access to the original mission logbooks used by some of the pilots.
Production began in March 2009. High-definition Sony F35 cameras were used for principal photography, which took place in the Czech Republic, Italy, Croatia and England. While shooting in the Czech Republic, the actors underwent a "boot camp" program, during which they lived in similar conditions as the actual Tuskegee Airmen. Editing began while the production was in Prague. Avid editing systems were used simultaneously in a Prague studio and at Lucasfilm. A vehicle was fitted with a "technical center" so that the production could quickly move between locations. In March 2010, Lucas took over direction of reshoots, as Hemingway was busy working on episodes of the HBO series Treme. Hemingway will have final approval over the footage.