Trivia / Red Tails

  • Actor Allusion:
    • 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 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 The Boondocks is a former Tuskegee Airman and occasionally features flashbacks to this period.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $58 million. Box office, $50,365,377.
  • Creator Killer: 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.
  • Development Hell: 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 Aaron McGruder. If what Lucas said on The Daily Show is true, another reason it took long to produce was because Hollywood executives did not think a movie with a mostly black cast would be successful or make money.
  • Fake Nationality: The Portuguese Daniela Ruah plays Lightning's Italian girlfriend Sofia.
    • Fake American: Lightning was played by David Oyelowo, an Englishman.
  • Hire the Critic: A frequent topic on Aaron McGruder's comic strip The Boondocks was Jar Jar Binks and the racial stereotyping he portrayed. So when George Lucas 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 
  • The Shelf of Movie Languishment: Got stuck on it for a couple years while a distributor was found.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/RedTails