George Lucas ventured down to Hollywood from his empire at Skywalker Ranch to present the American Cinematheque’s 23rd annual award to one of his favorite Jedis, Samuel L. Jackson, and ComingSoon.net intercepted the man behind some of pop culture’s most iconic mythologies. Lucas gave up a handful of plans that were not quite as secret as the plans to the Death Star, including his intentions for a fifth “Indiana Jones” adventure, and 3-D-ifying the classic “Star Wars” films.
ComingSoon.net: You had huge success this summer with “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Are you seriously thinking about another one? Harrison Ford’s said there may be plans afoot.
George Lucas: Yes – we’re looking for a “MacGuffin,” which is an object that he goes after. They’re very hard to come by!
CS: Would you want to keep the whole family together for a film – Indy, Marion and Mutt?
Lucas: It really depends on what it is Indy goes looking for and then how the story falls out of that, and then how convenient or inconvenient to have the group there.
CS: A while back when we spoke you were planning to take the six “Star Wars” films and put them into a 3D format. Is that still something you’re working towards?
Lucas: Oh yeah. The technology is very difficult. It exists – it’s just extremely expensive, and so what we’re trying to do is figure out a more practical way of pulling it off.
CS: And what about “Red Tails,” the project with the Tuskegee Airmen that you’ve been wanting to do for some time now – there’s progress there?
Lucas: We’re casting that right now and we’re shooting in the spring.
CS: Do you have a director lined up?
Lucas: Yes, we have Anthony Hemingway directing.
CS: Do you think you’ll be directing a film again any time soon?
Lucas: Not for a while. I’m getting rid of all my development. Everything that I’ve ever developed is going to be finished in about a year, a year and a half or two, and then I’m going to go do my own films.
CS: You’re here in L.A. to pay tribute to Samuel L. Jackson. Of all the actors in Hollywood who would’ve killed to lobby you for a part in the “Star Wars” prequels, why was Sam an actor that you felt fit your plans enough to bring into “Star Wars”?
Lucas: To be honest, he’s the only one who asked, actually. He didn’t really lobby for it. He was on a talk show and someone asked him what movie he would’ve liked to be in or that he would like to be in that he hadn’t been in and he said “Star Wars.” So I called him up and said “Is that true? Do you really want to be in ‘Star Wars’?” He said “Yeah – as long as I’m a Jedi,” and I said “Well, I have a little tiny role, but it grows if you’re willing to do the three movies.” He said “I’m in.” It was just like that. He didn’t look at it like “This is a chance to make a whole bunch of money, a chance to do a big thing.” He just did what was asked of him and tried to make it as good as he possibly could.