George Lucas talks with Oprah about Red Tails and AA girlfriend, Mellody Hobson

When the African American community heard that George Lucas of Star Wars and Indiana Jones fame couldn't easily get "Red Tails" financed because of the all-Black cast, they promised to support the film in droves.

But few wondered why Lucas wanted to tell this story, after all, HBO did a great job of it in 1995.

Lucas had the film in mind for 20 years. He's given other interviews on the work and in those reports Lucas notes that the great projects take time. Lucas got the idea for the "Red Tails" movie on the Tuskegee Airmen from a friend who told him the secret story of the African American fighter pilots from Tuskegee twenty years ago.

When he heard the story, he thought it'd be a great film.

And if you're interested in knowing more about this master film creator and producer and his ties to the African American Community, you may want to tune into Oprah Winfrey tonight. Winfrey interviews Lucas, but also chats with his girlfriend, Mellody Hobson, a financial reporter for NBC.

Mellody's not only successful journalist. She's young, attractive and one of the most successful businesswomen in the country. Lucas was born in 1944. Hobson was born in 1969.

Tonight on the OWN Network, Oprah airs her timely visit with filmmaker George Lucas. After 20 years, Lucas, a planet if not a solar system in Hollywood, secured funding and the go ahead to create his African American documentary, Red Tails, the story of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Not that the Tuskegee Airmen story hasn't been done before. And not that the mulitiple award winning HBO version of the true life saga of the flying fighter pilots isn't a must have DVD in every American's DVD pile. Check out the imdb database here on the first story of the black fighter pilots.

But Lucas' version of the Tuskegee Airmen is full blast on the CG tip. It's an expensive film with dynamic action sequences. Producer Lucas had a hard time funding the film because graphics are expensive.

Oprah's show, The Next Chapter, is the Oprah Winfrey Network's most successful show. The Next Chapter takes the Oprah Winfrey celebrity interviews to a new level. It is where the Oprah Winfrey show left off with in depth celebrity interviews toward Oprah's end.

Winfrey and OWN premiered "The Next Chapter" with Steven Tyler. An interview that reporters, critics, fans and the simply curious found "fascinating." In tonight's George Lucas interview, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard also sit down with Oprah to discuss their experience. And their honor to do the movie on a hidden African American success story.

You can watch Lucas explain his reasons for creating "Red Tails" and holding on to the story idea for 20 years in the video below. He said he wanted to tell individual and personal stories. And since George Lucas is synonymous with Star Wars and Indiana Jones, those who ask what's the difference between "Red Tails" and "The Tuskegee Airmen" find the answers immediately point to graphics.

Lucas says the "Red Tails" story is more personal. Coupled with the visual excitement that HBO couldn't give viewers in home theater, the combination should spell success.

African Americans, hurt by the story of the project that couldn't be funded because its cast was black, rallied to support the film on its opening weekend. So far, the reviews have been great. But there's a still a wait to see which films top the box office this weekend.

There are several clips of the Oprah interview that airs tonight. The first is with Gooding Jr. and Howard. You can watch that clip here.

You can watch a brief clip of Lucas with his girlfriend, NBC econ/finance reporter Melody Hobson here.

Comments

Submitted by Adrianne (not verified) on
I'm happy that he finally got to make this movie. There can never be too many films documenting the long-buried events that comprise the history of the black diaspora. I'm a George Lucas fan and a Star Wars fan, I think that he did a great job with the subject matter. I wish George and Melody Hobson much love and the best of luck

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Although the topic is fascinating, this piece is poorly written. Grammatical errors everywhere. And nothing about Melody's investment firm...she is not a journalist, but rather a contributor to NBC. Please, do your homework before attempting to write.

Your post misspelled Mellody's name. Sure that's my fault. IR relationships fascinating? hmm. Interesting. thanks for the read.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
While most of the article spells the name with two "L's" in the sentence preceding the video the name is spelt with only one. The readers comment was that the article was facinating. ie.captivating: inspiring a great interest or attraction As the author of the article, your comment "IR relationships fascinating? hmm. Interesting. " seems to suggest that the article is only about IR relationships. (A limitation the reader didn't state.) Are you writing about a subject you are neither facinated, nor intrigued by?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Agree -- poorly written, and insulting.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
She is the President of Ariel Capital Management and a contributor on ABC (Good Morning America) not NBC.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
These posts spend more time worrying about his girlfriend, how she spells her name, where she works, etc., than they do discussing the movie and the subject...the Tuskegee Airmen. They might as well continue to focus on important issues like George's haircut, his glasses, the shirt he is wearing, etc. Wow, I hate to believe that people are that shallow that they miss the whole point of the article and instead want to discuss his girlfriend.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
talked about the "the movie and the subject...the Tuskegee Airmen. "... The title of the article is "George Lucas talks with Oprah about Red Tails and AA girlfriend, Mellody Hobson" . 1. Mellody Hobson,"his girlfriend" is a part of the discussion, as are many other issues in the article such as the difficulty to fund the movie. (Mellody Hobson is a power-house in her own right) 2. Readers would at least like the basic details about the young woman presented accuately, but mistakes do happen. 3. Persons found the article of interst but were dissappointed in the way the article was written and the manner in which the writer responded to a criticism of the article. 4. Yes these discussions detract from what could have been a beautiful dialogue about the movie, but perhaps they speak more of the responsibility of journalists.

Submitted by Lesa (not verified) on
After seeing the interview with Oprah last night, I will not support anything George Lucas produces. His comment to his children about being rich and they are not is disgusting. It shows that he is a mean, greedy person and does not deserve his wealth. I feel sorry for his children!

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