George Lucas hasn’t directed a movie since Star Wars Episode 3. He’s producing Red Tails and he wrote Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He spends most of his time producing products and managing LucasFilm, but he’s ready to retire, as he’s told the New York Times.
But he wants to move away from films entirely, he tells the New York Times, in a pretty extensive profile:
I’m retiring… I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.
Producer Rick McCallum echoes this statement:
Once [Red Tails] is finished, he’s done everything he’s ever wanted to do… He will have completed his task as a man and a filmmaker.
It is kind of odd that he wants to retire. Red Tails was conceived as an epic trilogy. In the profile, Lucas is portrayed as a man who’s been hurt by all the criticism of the Star Wars prequels and special editions. Lucas compares fans to studio executives, in that they don’t understand the movies he’s trying to make or how they want to control how he wants to make movies.
He also expresses disbelief at studios not wanting to make Red Tails. Fox eventually agreed to distribute the film, but LucasFilm is paying for the vast majority of it. Lucas thinks it’s because it’s an all black cast, but could it really be that they were wary of a Lucas film because of the Star Wars prequels? That’s what Slashfilm ponders. After all, a Lucas film that’s not Star Wars might be a hard thing to sell. Bad Boys seems to be a large draw and the two leads are black. Either way, you can read the profile at the Times. [NYT via Slashfilm]