A lot of us made our presence felt at the box office for the movie “Red Tails” on its opening weekend. It’s evident in the second place spot the movie won at the box office with receipts totalling over $19 million. The casting was incredible, the directing impeccable and the key positions in front of and behind the camera were African American. And one role was filled by an unlikely candidate.
The Boondocks creator, Aaron McGruder, co-wrote the screenplay for “Red Tails” with writer extraordinaire John Ridley. Even years after McGruder parodied George Lucas’ Star Wars prequel character Jar Jar Binks and sort of “outed” the director for the racial stereotyping of the character, Lucas invited McGruder to the project.
McGruder was honored and jumped at the opportunity to bring a respectful depiction of the Tuskegee Airmen’s story to the big screen. According to an interview conducted by the Huffington Post with McGruder, they worked closely to ensure that the story held an audience with the action of Star Wars, but kept it historically accurate.
The film was nearly complete when McGruder was brought in to make minor changes that weren’t as minor as he nor Lucas thought it would be. Their relationship cliqued even though there was an obvious “elephant in the room” as McGruder put it. Read more of his interview here.