** Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrance Howard have both played members of the Tuskegee Airmen in the past. On top of that, Terrance Howard has previously played [[Film/IronMan a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force]] (well, Army Air Forces, given the time period.)
** Writer Aaron [=McGruder=] also has some previous experience with the subject. The main character's grandfather in ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' is a former Tuskegee Airman and occasionally features flashbacks to this period.
* BoxOfficeBomb: Budget, $58 million. Box office, $50,365,377.
* CreatorKiller: This is the final film from Lucasfilm to directly involve both 20th Century Fox and ''Star Wars'' Special Edition/Prequel Trilogy producer Rick [=McCallum=], as well as the only theatrical film involving director Anthony Hemingway and writer Aaron [=McGruder=]. Disney purchased Lucasfilm 9 months after ''Red Tails'' crashed at the box office, ending the firm's relationship with Fox and causing both Lucas and [=McCallum=] to retire from the firm; [=McCallum=] left America as a result to settle in Prague. Lucas was honored as a Disney Legend later.
* DevelopmentHell: George Lucas originally developed the idea in 1988, with a scheduled release for 1992. A number of writers worked on the project until John Ridley was hired in 2007 to write the final screenplay, which was then subsequently revised by [[WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks Aaron McGruder]]. If what Lucas said on ''Series/TheDailyShow'' is true, another reason it took long to produce was because [[ExecutiveVeto Hollywood executives]] [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything did not think a movie with a mostly black cast would be successful or make money.]]
* FakeNationality: The Portuguese Daniela Ruah plays Lightning's Italian girlfriend Sofia.
** FakeAmerican: Lightning was played by David Oyelowo, an Englishman.
* HireTheCritic: A frequent topic on Aaron [=McGruder=]'s comic strip ''ComicStrip/TheBoondocks'' was [[Franchise/StarWars Jar Jar Binks]] and the racial stereotyping he portrayed. So when Creator/GeorgeLucas decided he wanted a screenwriter for ''Red Tails'' who knew how to write well for black people, guess who he chose to hire? That's right, Aaron [=McGruder=].[[note]]And he claimed he was so excited to work with George Lucas that the topic of Jar Jar never came up once![[/note]]
* TheShelfOfMovieLanguishment: Got stuck on it for a couple years while a distributor was found.