Is George Lucas Finally back? Finally Gaining Steam?

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by UnexpectedRewinds, May 4, 2009.

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  1. QuiGonJade Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2002
    star 4
    Mostly this thread is making me wish George Lucas was younger, or hadn't slowed down between 1984 and 1997 or so. Sure, I'm interested to see what the man who made THX-1138 and American Graffiti might come up with next given his desire to "return to his roots" or however you want to put it. But I'd also like to see a couple more Indy movies and Episodes 7-9. (And I still have hopes for the live-actors TV series.) And if I had to choose between the two, I think I'd definitely take more Star Wars and Indy. And I'm not sure what kind of so-called independent film I'd like to see from Lucas, anyway; I'm not all that convinced that a WWII movie is it. (I know this is blasphemous, but maybe would it really be such a bad thing if it wasn't a period piece? I know a Lucas movie set in the present is very unlikely, but there's plenty of valid reasons to make those kinds of movies.)

    Anyway, I'll just say that if he retired entirely tomorrow, he would have a formidable legacy already, though that was also true by the 80's. And IMO he puts enough intelligence and integrity into his blockbusters that there's not necessarily a need to assume he'd be making a major improvement by "going independent".
  2. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    I would be completely fascinated in watching a Lucas film based in the present.

    But I think it's unlikely. In fact, I think it's unlikely we'll ever see those smaller,esoteric films he wanted to make.

    What he might want to do, IMHO, is give some of these ideas he has up on his shelf to younger directors or filmmaking friends and let them do something with them.

    Then he can make the smaller, pure cinematic pieces he's wanted to make.
  3. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    You really know what Lucas should do?

    He should completely jettison Star Wars. Turn it over to someone else creatively. Have some conditions attached, but give the keys to the kingdom to someone else and let them drive it.

    Put the SW HQ down in New Zealand. Create a series of live-action films based in the SW Universe directed by other talented directors. Do about 4 a year. Have Weta Workshop do the makeup effects, animatronic work, and specialty costuming. ILM and Kerner Optical the vfx and miniature work.

    Give the films a limited theatrical run and then put them on HBO.

    That way Lucas can focus on directing his smaller films.

    Lucas attracted A-List directors for his Young Indy series and also helped up and comers like Jonathan Hensleigh and Frank Darabont. A much more limited series in the SW Universe would easily do just as well attracting talent.

    Let's see a SW film directed by del Toro, Cuaron, Darabont, Rodriquez, etc.
  4. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    To a degree we're already seeing that, with the Family Guy, Robot Chicken, and Clone Wars. While Lucas isn't giving up the key to the kingdom he's certainly letting others play in his sand box, which is awesome I might add. I drool at the prospects of seeing episodes of the live-action series directed by James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, J.J. Abrams, Peter Jackson, etc. The biggest names and Lucas' closest friends.
  5. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    QFT!=D=
  6. Emperor_dontcareboy Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2009
    I don't think George Lucas is really back or gaining steam. I think he is running out of steam actually because he's kind of older now. And he doesn't really need to make many more movies cause he's so rich.
  7. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    He's only 65 you know. These days 65 isn't really that old at all. As long as he's healthy he's got at least another ten years in which to make movies, if not longer.
  8. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    I think he's diabetic. As long as he keeps that in check, then he can be making movies into his 80's like Kurosawa.

    I was watching a episode of Young Indy the other day and it struck me that Lucas could really do a great picture set in the WWI era.

    That's why I'd really want to see him do something other than SW. He has those other pictures in him.
  9. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Really? I never knew that.He must have it well controlled because you never hear anything about him having health trouble.
  10. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    I might be mistaken on that. It seems like I read it in Skywalking, the Pollock bio of Lucas.
  11. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    This page, among others, reports that Lucas has "very mild" Type-2 diabetes, which means that he is somewhat resistant to his own naturally-produced insulin, the hormone that carries sugar to the cells for energy. If he is "very mild", then that means he can probably control it with diet and exercise, as opposed to taking insulin by pills or injections, and he probably does not run the risk of developing complications such as blindness, neuropathy or heart disease.

    BTW, I know this stuff because I'm Type 1, which is far more severe, but imminently controllable if I'm careful. :)
  12. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Spielberg, Howard and J.J. Abrams would be awesome. I never considered this much because I haven't thought about any SW television series. But this idea would actually be exciting. I've always wondered what SW would look like under the direction of Steven. Ron Howard would also be an interesting case.

  13. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    I would love to see a Cameron episode but it'd probably cost a hundred million.:D
  14. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5

    Shane's exactly right. Lucas is all about staying on budget and schedule, and Cameron is about BIGGER, BETTER, LONGER AND UNCUT!!!! Mind you, I love Cameron's work for sure, but directing a TV episode is where he would be on a much shorter leash, both budget and schedule.

    I fully understand why Lucas is careful about expenditures. He mortgaged his existence on the Empire Strikes Back and almost lost his control over the films, the franchise and the merchandizing to 20th Century Fox. Lucas had to ask 20th to step in and loan him more money when the bankers that Lucas had borrowed money from turned him down for a loan to cover the massive cost overruns. It was a very traumatic time and I think he vowed, "never again."

    If anyone is interested, watch the TCM series called SPIELBERG ON SPIELBERG on youtube.
    It's fantastic. The reason I mention it is that Spielberg talks about how totally insane he went spending money on 1941 and then talks about how Lucas handled Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's great stuff and shows how much Spielberg appreciates Lucas's strengths as a producer.
  15. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    I think Spielberg learned a lot watching how Lucas handled expenditures on Raiders. The old crazy, mad-spending Spielberg only popped his head up one time after that with Hook, but even then it wasn't to 1941 levels.

    Jurassic Park and all his post-Indy films have been pretty disciplined as far as budgets go.

    I remember reading the great Making of Jurassic Park book and the article on it in Cinefex. ILM kept asking Kathy Kennedy when they were going to get more shots because that was what they were used to with other filmmakers. The shot count would grow as post-production went on. But with JP, Spielberg stuck to his original plan of about 70 CG shots almost to a tee.

    And interestingly enough, who did Spielberg entrust the JP post-production oversight to while he was in Poland shooting Schindler's List?

    Mr. Lucas.
  16. rpeugh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 4

    At the risk of driving this thread off topic, I would like to say that the magic was also there for me in The Phantom Menace. I will admit that it was a much more "melancholy" type of magic, but I think that is appropriate given the more tragic tone of the overall trilogy.
  17. THX_1138biggs Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2007
    star 1
    I've been thinking this out lately.. now I know this might not happen if Idiana Jones 5 is confirmed to shoot.. but I've always imagined the possibility of Lucas directing an Indiana Jones movie.. now that would be magical.

    I'm not taking any credit away from Speilberg, both he and Lucas are like brothers when it comes to making movies.. but it would be interesting and exciting to see how a new Indy directed by Lucas would be.

    I'll probably be attacked by a bunch of fanboys now because I said this :p
  18. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    I have nothing against George Lucas. With that said, I think the strength and power of the Indiana Jones franchise has come through the synergy of Steven and George. They have complimented and balanced each others imaginations and styles. In many ways, each has tempered the other and moderated the ideas. An example of the balancing act is clearly evident in the development of Last Crusade. George wanted a focus on Young Indy, Steven wanted to explore the relationship with the father. They ultimately combined the ideas into a strong story. A bigger example was their ongoing battle over the Indy IV story. George wanting an alien invasion and Steven had to talk him down (which I'd argue was a good move.) Finally, I'd argue that Steven is by far the better director for the project. George's real strenth is devising the story and providing input and feedback.
  19. UnexpectedRewinds Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Rpeugh, I have to agree with you. I just rewatched TPM and I have to admit, the magic is there. I guess this whole subject was created because I felt as if Lucas had this momentum after American Graffiti and Star Wars, that he could of kept going and doing other things, and kept doing these really interesting films and still have that sort of edge/steam to him. But I think all the prequels have these little moments of "wow", I think TPM has the most, with ROTS second and AOTC third. TPM has that feel, I think mostly because of the character of Qui Gon and how great he is, and how great Liam Neeson plays him, he carries that film. TPM also has the best score, imo.

    But I still think that Lucas has something up his sleeve, maybe 1 or 2 things before his career is over that will make his career go out with a big bang, or at least hopefully :)
  20. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    There is nothing wrong with the 5 Star Wars sequels, but it would have been really interesting to follow the Lucas career in some alternative universe where he kept making new independent projects. Even if he continues to work after Red Tails, they won't be the same type of creative projects he would have explored in his earlier years. Who knows if he had anything else up his sleeve.
  21. UnexpectedRewinds Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Agreed Darth Seldon, there is nothing wrong with 5 star wars sequels, i mean, we are star wars fans here, but I feel there is something in George that is more than Star Wars, and I think he knows that. As much fun as Star Wars is to him, I think there is at least one thing he would love to direct that is really personal to him. I'm sure he'll be producing a bunch of pictures, but as far as directing goes, its gunna be another few years.
  22. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    Well Lucas would actually let Indy shoot and kill bad guys. Something Spielberg didn't do in KotCS. The Prequel trilogy kept getting darker and more violent yet the opposite can be said of Indiana Jones. I think Lucas would return more of the grittiness of Raiders back to the series.

    I can't help but think that there is a small part of Spielberg that believes the Indy series is slightly beneath him now and he only directs the movies out of loyalty to Lucas and Harrison Ford. If you watch in any recent interviews Spielberg seems very apologetic about certain aspects of the series.

    I'd love to see Lucas direct an Indy movie.
  23. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    I don't know Gobi.
    In all fairness to Steven, he has said that what he loves about making films like Indiana Jones or Jurassic Park is that they are purely for the fans. He seems to appreciate their place as just fun adventure films--summer blockbusters. Considering that the summer blockbuster made him who he is, I don't think he is looking down on it.
  24. d_arblay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 4
    does anyone honestly believe for a second that Lucas will get any credit (outwith his own fanbase) for Red Tails, even if its a massive hit? Lucas is now, with or without good reason, so out-of-fashion that even if the miracle that would be another critical success occurred, his involvement would be downplayed.

    Indy 4 was a critical flop for many. And who got the blame? The lead actors? Nope. The writer? Nope. The director? Nope. The Producer? Nope. The Executive Producer? Well, of course(!)

    Red Tails might be a success but dont think for a second that it wont be, with some justification, the actors/director and writer taking all the plaudits if it is.
  25. d_arblay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 4
    But thats where Lucas and Spielberg differ quite broadly. Lucas is uncompromising and often unapologetic. Spielberg is very obsessed with popularity. He constantly apologises for films based on the public's reactions, nevermind how proud he is of the job he did or the faith he had in the project on set and in the cutting room. One only has to hear the anecdote about hiring the crew to film his reaction to the oscar nominations to see that there is a deep-seated desire to be liked by everyone that drives the man. I've no surprise that Spielberg apologises for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Temple Of Doom given the fans lack of praise for both. But I think he has let Lucas down in this regard and therefore subtly put the blame for these films apparent failings on him.

    I still want to see the George Lucas 'Apocalypse Now'! :) Whether it was worth it or not Star Wars probably robbed America of one of its brightest ever young filmmakers.
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