It's been a hell of a long time since we heard anything about the George Lucas produced World War II film Red Tails. The film is still obviously in the process of being complete, it's been about a year since our last report. Today we can report that legendary Jazz musician Terence Blanchard will provide the musical score for the film, which is pretty damn cool, especially if you're into jazz.
The film was directed by The Wire's Anthony Hemingway (The Wire), and stars Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Bryan Cranston, David Oyelowo, Method Man, Tristan Wilds, Michael B. Jordan, Andre Royo and several more.
Red Tails is based on the legendary African-American WWII pilots named The Tuskegee Airmen. During the war this squadron not only had to fight in their planes, but also against racism in the strictly segregated troops at that time. The African-American pilots had to fly extremely risky missions and escorted thousands of bombers. You can see some previously released images from the production of the film here.
I am looking forward to seeing this movie which has yet to be given a release date, but I hope it comes out later this year.
Here is the official press release:
World-renowned film composer and trumpet player Terence Blanchard is set to score the soundtrack for RED TAILS, the feature film directorial debut by Anthony Hemingway. Based on the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II, RED TAILS tells the tale of a group of African-American combat pilots at battle. This marks the first Lucasfilm production in 17 years that is independent of the Indiana Jones and Star Wars film franchises.
RED TAILS stars Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr., Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard and Emmy Award winner Bryan Lee Cranston. The film addresses racial prejudice, war and showcases the human spirit as it rises above all odds.
Produced by Lucasfilm, RED TAILS began development by George Lucas over 20 years ago. Several writers contributed to the script, but ultimately John Ridley completed the screenplay. Producers interviewed surviving original Tuskegee pilots and even gained access to official logbooks from their missions in World War II. The film was shot in Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy and England, and the film score will be recorded in Prague this June.
Terence Blanchard’s work on RED TAILS comes fresh off the heels of his critically acclaimed score for the Broadway play, The Mother****** With The Hat, currently playing in New York and starring Chris Rock. He is currently at work on the music for the Broadway remake of A Streetcar Named Desire and has also been commissioned by the Opera St. Louis for a project that will premiere in 2012.
Blanchard just completed a national co-headlining tour with Branford Marsalis and will continue to tour with his quintet throughout 20ll. Additionally, after serving as Artistic Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute, Blanchard has now been named Artistic Director of the Henry Mancini Institute at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.
As a film composer, Blanchard has more than 50 scores to his credit and received a Golden Globe nomination for Spike Lee’s 25th Hour. Blanchard’s music was also recently seen in Spike Lee/HBO’s If God’s Willing And The Creek Don’t Rise, commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster and the sequel to the critically-acclaimed 2006 film, “When The Levees Broke.” The film shows the current state of Blanchard’s native New Orleans five years after Hurricane Katrina, and follows the lives of several individuals and their families in the aftermath of one of the worst disasters to occur in U.S. history. Blanchard won a Grammy for his 2007 CD “A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina),” which included tracks from Levees.
In 2009, Blanchard loaned his musical voice to Louis the Alligator in The Princess and the Frog. He has completed scores for Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna, the soundtrack for Darnell Martin’s Cadillac Records and Guy Moshe’s adventure thriller Bunraku (Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson and Josh Hartnett). Other film music written by Blanchard includes Kasi Lemmons’ Eve’s Bayou and Talk to Me, Oprah Winfrey’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Tim Story’s Barbershop and Ron Shelton’s Dark Blue and music for over one dozen Spike Lee films and documentaries.