According to George Lucas, after he releases his WWII film Red Tails he is going to retire from making big-budget blockbuster feature films. Mind you, he hasn't really made that many over the years, as the one thing he's been doing mostly is working on "improving" his Star Wars films. He is going to move away from that, and finally do what he's been talking about doing since he got hooked on the Star Wars, and that's make small budget personal film projects much like what his buddy Francis Ford Coppola is currently doing. Here's what he told the New York Times in a recent interview:
I’m retiring… I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.
Rick McCallum, Lucas' longtime friend and producer added that,
Once [Red Tails] is finished, he’s done everything he’s ever wanted to do… He will have completed his task as a man and a filmmaker.
The Times goes on to explain that "Lucas has decided to devote the rest of his life to what cineastes in the 1970s used to call personal films. They’ll be small in scope, esoteric in subject and screened mostly in art houses. They’ll be like the experimental movies Lucas made in the 1960s, around the time he was at U.S.C. film school, when he recorded clouds moving over the desert and made a movie based on an e. e. cummings poem. During that period, Lucas assumed he would spend his career on the fringes. Then “Star Wars” happened — and though Lucas often mused about it, he never committed himself to the uncommercial world until now."
I honestly think this is the best thing for Lucas. He needs to go back to his roots and tell good small stories. With the amount of money Lucas has at his disposal though, even these small films he wants to make could end up being decent sized movies... if he even really ends up going through with it. I'd love to see this guy finally do what he's been talking about doing all of these years! I just don't think it will happen, though. After all, he's got to do Indiana Jones 5... unless he's decided not to do it, which wouldn't be the worst news in the world.
I guess only time will tell if Lucas is serious about this or not. We'll find out in the coming years when we haven't seen him revamp and re-release his Star Wars films again. If he does move forward onto the next phase of his life and career, I'll be looking forward to seeing what he plans to do with it.
What are your thoughts on Lucas being finished with blockbuster movies so he can focus on his smaller films?