George Lucas is no stranger to Tom Cruise fans. Although the famous director of the Star Wars empire hasn’t helmed any of Tom’s films, the technology developed by his company Lucasfilm Ltd has figured prominently in Minority Report, War of the Worlds and Mission: Impossible.
That same technology is at work in the visually stunning Red Tails, which Lucas executive produced. Twenty-three years in the making, the movie follows the heroic and turbulent true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American fighter pilots who overcame rampant racism and intense cultural prejudice during World War II to distinguish themselves as some of the war efforts most talented and dedicated flyers. Lucas believed so strongly in the necessity of bringing this story to the silver screen that he invested millions of dollars of his own money to get it made. If its opening weekend is any indication, this high-octane aerial adventure should reward that heavy personal investment.
But Lucas isn’t the only familiar face to Cruise fans in Red Tails. Playing the role of Major Emmanuel Stance is the one-and-only Cuba Gooding, Jr. The Show-Me-The-Money star of Jerry Maguire is involved with this story for the second time. In 1995, he acted in HBO’s “The Tuskegee Airmen”, along with Laurence Fishburne. For that production he told The Huffington Post recently that he went through a boot camp-style training program and flew with professional pilots, an experience that often left his lunch in his lap after repeated loops and spirals. As intense as the training could be, and as visually electric as the film is, the reality of the story does more than just provide fodder for an action-adventure movie. Gooding told MTV.com that it is also “educating the audience of what African Americas did in the war effort in World War II.” Combine that history lesson with Lucas’s skill at generating tension, and “you’re going to see an amusement park ride,” says Gooding.
For a taste of what he’s talking about, check out the official trailer.
Red Tails Story Synopsis
Inspired by the perseverance and courage of the Tuskegee Airmen, Red Tails begins its story with World War II in full swing. As the war continues to take its toll on Allied Forces in Europe, the Pentagon brass, desperate to protect its dwindling numbers of bombers, look to an option previously considered unthinkable. At long last it gives the Tuskegee Airmen the chance to prove themselves in battle and forever put to rest the misplaced belief that blacks lacked the courage, discipline, and intelligence to be fighter pilots. Against all the odd, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies in awe-inspiring displays of bravery and heroism to fight for their country and for the fate of the free world.
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