Way back in 1988, George Lucas actually had something other than Star Wars on his mind. He wanted badly to pursue a movie idea called "Red Tails," based on the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American fighter pilots in WWII.
Then he got sidetracked by midichlorians and Jar-Jar.
Well, Lucas never gave up on the idea, and "Red Tails" was pulled along on a tortured production rollercoaster.
Finally finished in 2009 by director Anthony Hemingway ("The Wire," "CSI," "Treme") from a screenplay by John Ridley (who created "Undercover Brother." Yes, for real), "Red Tails" was rumored to be a mess that required Lucas to dig through the footage and radically retool it all (even, according to reports, changing the entire main plot and lead character focus). Still, it boasts some, well, intriguing names in front of the camera: Terrence Howard, "Breaking Bad's" Bryan Cranston, Cuba Gooding Jr. (who needs this, badly), Method Man, and, er, Ne-Yo.
Whatever the behind the scenes shenanigans, the movie finally has a trailer and a release date: January 20, 2012. Right in the middle of....post-Christmas, Not Quite Bad Enough for February But Almost Season. Sigh.
We'll reserve our final judgment until we see the finished product. In the meantime, check out the trailer.
Its heart is in the right place, clearly, but who knows if the heavily-CG action (Lucas' Achilles heel) will work on the big screen.