That is the case exactly when it comes to the much anticipated film of the first all black aerial fighter troop, the Tuskegee Airmen. Red Tails, which is set to premiere on January 20, is a film that has been a long time coming, literally. Over 23 years to be exact. George Lucas (writer/producer/director of the Star Wars & Indiana Jones fame) spent a little over two decades and $93 million of his own money trying to convince Hollywood that this film needed to happen. And for 23+ years, they denied him, appearing to be apprehensive due to Lucas' all black cast.
Upon reading that tidbit in Britni Danielle's article over at clutchmagonline.com, I had the 'what-the-hell?!' face but as I continued reading, it started to make some sense. In Danielle's article, she reports the reason behind the madness:
Studios do not want to invest the resources into high-quality films with black casts because they don’t think their investments will be returned in the form of large box office numbers, here or abroad.Understandable because we (meaning the ones that possess a few extra drops of melanin) are all for catching a flick for the free (or $5, prices may vary according to your local bootleg man). But I still have an issue with this. A man with the clout of a George Lucas had to fight to get this film to the big screen. After being knocked down repeatedly, he fronted his own cash ($93 million btw) to bring this to fruition. Nevermind the fact that the story is one that needs to be told or that the exceptional cast he has chosen to act out his vision have been in commendable roles prior to.
I could be taking it too personal but it feels like they just didn't want to give us a chance. They automatically assumed a picture of this magnitude would not succeed due to it's all black cast. I'm sure there were black filmmakers who had the same vision as well as the ones to come in the future but if it took Lucas longer than I've been alive, they seem to have no shot in hell.
I just said last night that I was going to see Red Tails even if I had to go alone, partly because I'm into black history but mainly because it looks like a well crafted work of art. Plus, when I have eye candy like Nate Parker and Michael B. Jordan to stare at for two hours, why wouldn't I?
|Michael B. Jordan|
Will you be going to support this film? What are your feelings on the lack of black films in the theaters? Isn't it a shame it took 23+ years and $93 million to get this out? Let's talk!