'Star Wars' Creator George Lucas Self-Finances Movie About First African-American Fighter Pilots

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The filmmaker put $58 million of his own money into making "Red Tails" and is spending $35 million more on its distribution.

NEW YORK - George Lucas is self-financing a film inspired by the first organized group of African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. armed forces, known as the Tuskegee Airmen, 
the Wall Street Journal reported.


The airmen, whose story will be featured in Red Tails, fought in World War II. 

The film stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Ne-Yo, David Oyelowo and Nate Parker, according to the Journal.

The Star Wars creator put $58 million of his own money into the movie and is spending $35 million more for its distribution, the Journal said. 

It will be released by Lucas' production firm Lucasfilm Ltd. on Jan. 20, with News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox distributing it.

Lucas told the newspaper through a representative that he has worked on the project for 23 years. 
He wanted to make an inspirational film for young people featuring role models, the paper added. "They are really the knights of the contemporary age," Lucas said in a statement.

Red Tails was directed by Anthony Hemingway and written by John Ridley and Aaron McGruder.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai