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Lucasfilm's Red Tails Will Take Flight on January 20, 2012

Twentieth Century Fox to Release Epic Action Story Inspired by the Heroic Tuskegee Airmen

Fans have long known that the daring aerobatics of World War II were a major inspiration in the making of the space battles in the Star Wars saga. George Lucas and his production team have captured the rush of aerial dogfights aboard P-51 Mustangs while telling an inspiring story based on real events in the next major motion picture production from Lucasfilm: Red Tails.

A high-flying action epic inspired by the heroic exploits of the first all African-American aerial combat unit, Red Tails will launch on January 20, 2012, released by Twentieth Century Fox. Produced by Rick McCallum and Charles Floyd Johnson, the gripping WWII action movie is directed by Anthony Hemingway ("Treme," "The Wire," "Battlestar Galactica").

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"I am humbled and honored to direct the story of the Tuskegee Airmen -- heroes who have paved the way so others could have the opportunity to pursue their dreams," said Hemingway. "To be selected by George Lucas and Rick to direct this film was more than my wildest dreams come true. It's been a blessing to work with them, along with the amazingly talented artists at Industrial Light & Magic. I've grown a lot on many levels from this experience. As director, I had the fortune to work with a highly skilled crew from the Czech Republic, U.K. and the U.S., along with a remarkably talented group of actors. The resonant beauty, strength and dedication of our heroes is reflected in the powerful ensemble cast."

Red Tails stars Oscar® winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire), Oscar nominee Terrence Howard (Crash), Emmy® winner Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad"), Nate Parker (The Secret Life of Bees, The Great Debaters), David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Tristan Wilds ("90210"), Grammy® Award winner Cliff Smith aka Method Man ("The Wire"), Kevin Phillips (Pride), Rick Otto ("The Wire"), Lee Tergesen (Monster), Andre Royo ("Heroes"), Grammy-Award winner Ne-Yo (Stomp the Yard), Elijah Kelley (Hairspray), Marcus T. Paulk (Take the Lead), Leslie Odom Jr. ("Grey's Anatomy"), Michael B. Jordan ("Friday Night Lights," Chronicle) and Daniela Ruah ("NCIS").

"I've wanted to do this film for a great many years," said George Lucas, executive producer of Red Tails. "So it is especially gratifying to see it all come together. It has been a real pleasure to work with Anthony and the extraordinary cast on a project that we all passionately believe in. The Tuskegee Airmen were such superb pilots that it was essential for us to create visual effects that would live up to their heroism and put audiences in the cockpit with them. They were only in their early 20s when they performed these amazing feats," Lucas added. "They became the best of the best--the top guns. It is an honor to bring to the screen a story inspired by their heroics."