Is George Lucas Really Getting Out of the Blockbuster Game?

“I’m retiring. I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.”

That’s what George Lucas, the visionary filmmaker behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones, tells The New York Times. No, he’s not completely leaving the movie industry; in fact he wants to move on to smaller, more personal projects like the ones he made in his film school days. Lucas did note, however, that he’d return for another Indiana Jones movie.

On the subject of going back and editing his own movies, adding things here or there like Greedo shooting first, Lucas remembered the days when his earliest movies THX 1138 and American Graffiti were edited by the studio. It was then that he decided to finance his own movies, which would give him final cut, a DIY spirit that continues to this day with the release of Red Tails, which opens Friday. Some studios didn’t even show up to look at the film and none offered him any money for it, although he did set up distribution through 20th Century Fox.

The lack of studio interest as well as fanboy outcry have both contributed to Lucas’ move toward smaller movies. “Why would I make any more [Star Wars movies], when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?” Lucas asked.

The feature goes on to have Lucas take credit for the nuked fridge scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, noting that director Steven Spielberg was trying to protect him by taking the heat for that in a recent interview.

If his quotes seem naive to some, that’s because, as several people in the article point out, that is one of Lucas’ central qualities. It will be interesting to see if that quality carries over into his more personal films.

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Comments

  • http://twitter.com/Skute Alfredo Wilson

    So does that mean we can get someone else doing the sequel trilogy :)

  • Guest

    There wont be a sequel trilogy

  • http://profiles.google.com/bmiddleton2 Brian Middleton Jr

    Good for him.

  • pDUB

    i feel like when “everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are” comes from fucking with the movies after they were out there for 20 years. 

  • Toneloak

    I think each and every artist goes through this phase. Also it will be nice to watch his ideas and creativity grow in a story telling capacity rather then what seems to have been his focus, special effects. Yeah I’m excited for his next project because good or bad he will surely develop a newer project which will be better. 

    With his resources in a few years we might get some pretty interesting and uncompromising ideas put on the big screen. But, I’ve seen THX 1138 I only hope his newer projects will be more engaging and focused.

  • Jim

    Actually, when he announced re-releasing the whole saga in 3-D last year, he said he planned to follow that up with a new trilogy. Maybe this means he’s scrapped that idea.

  • Waddupjoshjohn

    wow, i thought he would have thicker skin. i didn’t think comments like that would affect him. well mr. lucas, you make these films because it’s for you, not for screaming fanboys that want their way. you make it because you know, no matter how you do it, those screaming fanboys will be the first in line to pay and see it! make the final 3 trilogy and you will make everyone happy!

  • http://twitter.com/notinmybook notinmybook

    People yelled just as much at the prequels. And Crystal Skull. 

  • Magnusjragnarok

    “Lucas did note, however, that he’d return for another Indiana Jones movie.”

    Seriously?! I saw that universally-panned piece of dogshit at the theaters once and have never even considered watching it again. If he is so butt-hurt about “when everybody yells at you,” he should stay far away from Star Wars or Indiana Jones franchises and just let someone with fresh ideas take the reigns.

    George, you are a god of movie making because you innovated so much back in the 70′s & 80′s, but the industry has passed you by. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of writers/directors out there who learned your lessons and have moved the industry even further forward. All the great masters of their craft finish a work of art and move on to challenge themselves to create more and greater works. Because you pretty much stopped practicing your craft over 20 years ago, you gave up on being an artist in favor of playing the part of a steward.