Now this is cool. You can watch seven minutes of footage from Red Tails, a film we first told you about back in July that is finally going to get a US release next week on that magical date, you guessed it, January 20. Red Tails is another take on the story of the 'Tuskeegee Airmen', 322nd Fighter Group, who were the first African Americans to complete training to become fighter pilots (training took place in Tuskeegee, Alabama, hence the nickname) during WWII. Racism denied them the chance to put their skills to the test until the need proved to be so desperate that they could no longer be overlooked.
I love war movies, especially those that purport to be historically accurate. This one, a first feature from prodigious and acclaimed television director Anthony Hemingway (Treme, The Wire, True Blood, CSI:NY) and produced by George Lucas with a screenplay by Lucas and John Ridley (Three Kings, The Wanda Sykes Show), has a terrific cast fronted by an inspiring Terrence Howard (the 2nd time he's played a fighter pilot, the first being Hart's War) as Col. A.J. Bullard, Bryan Cranston, Cuba Gooding, Jr. (who seems to be aging into better parts with which to show that his Oscar was not a fluke. He also appeared in HBO's The Tuskeegee Airmen), David Oyelowo (The Help, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and this year’s The Paperboy), Gerald McRainey (to whom the torch of 'irascible military leader' has apparently been passed from Dale Dye), Ne-Yo, Method Man, Lee Tergeson and Josh Dallas.
This film had been percolating for a long time for one reason or another. I admit there is a lot here we've seen before, but just the little bits of the fighter sequences we get here, and especially in the trailers, are really exciting. The cinematographer John B. Aronson doesn't have a lot to recommend him or that would lead anyone to believe he could give us something spectacular, but Lucas obviously saw something in him. He doesn't put the Lucas Film Ltd imprimatur on just anything and he’s put a chunk of his own change into it, so I’m guessing whatever we’re seeing in the trailers and now this clip, including all of the awesome aerial fight sequences, is but the beginning. I’m looking forward to this.