George Lucas' Red Tails has been percolating through the Star Wars creator's head for 20 years now, and it's finally beginning to look like it might happen. Cuba Gooding Jr, Terrence Howard and Bryan Cranston has just signed on to join the cast of the Tuskegee Airmen drama, swelling its numbers to (surely) near-capacity.
The film tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American fighter pilots in the US military during World War II. Set up by Congressional mandate, the unit faced horrendous racism and discrimination at home before they even got the chance to fight the enemy abroad, but emerged from the War with a sterling combat record. Lucas has been circling the story for decades, but was anxious to get the technology to depict the dog fights properly*.
Today's trio join The Great Debaters' Nate Parker, Spooks' David Oyelowo, The Wire's Tristan Wilds, rapper (and The Wire star) Method Man, Generation Kill's Lee Tergesen, singer Ne-Yo, Hairspray's Elijah Kelley, The Wire's Andre Royo (Bubbles!) and The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2's Jesse Williams.
Anthony Hemingway, also an alumnus of The Wire, is set to direct, from a script by John Ridley. Filming starts "soon" here in Europe, somewhere.
*We say just do what Howard Hughes did and send some planes up to dogfight with cameras on. Sure, you might lose a few, but it'd look reasonably realistic.