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Terrence Blanchard To Score George Lucas Produced WWII Film 'Red Tails'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 27, 2011 at 2:57AM

Jazz musician and composer Terrence Blanchard is perhaps best known for his work with regular collaborator Spike Lee. His scores tend to be divisive, with some finding that his uniquely evocative style calls too much attention to itself within the context of a film, but they are never dull, standing apart from the generic works that tend to blanket most feature films. And with that in mind, we're eager to hear his next effort which will find him in some new territory.
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Jazz musician and composer Terrence Blanchard is perhaps best known for his work with regular collaborator Spike Lee. His scores tend to be divisive, with some finding that his uniquely evocative style calls too much attention to itself within the context of a film, but they are never dull, standing apart from the generic works that tend to blanket most feature films. And with that in mind, we're eager to hear his next effort which will find him in some new territory.

LucasFilm has announced that Blanchard will head into the studio next month to record a score for the long gestating WWII film "Red Tails." Produced by George Lucas and directed by Anthony Hemingway ("The Wire," "Treme") making his feature film debut (though Lucas did helm the reshoots last year due to scheduling conflicts), the film features as astonishingly expansive cast -- Terrence Howard, R&B singer NeYo, Andre Royo ("The Wire"), Nate Parker ("The Great Debaters"), British actor David Oyelowo, Cuba Gooding Jr., Bryan Cranston, Method Man, Tristan Wilds ("The Wire"), Kevin Phillips ("Pride"), Rick Otto ("The Wire"), Lee Tergesen ("Monster"), Elijah Kelley ("Hairspray"), Marcus T. Paulk ("Take the Lead"), Leslie Odom Jr. ("Grey's Anatomy"), Michael B. Jordan ("The Wire"), singer Jazmine Sullivan, Edwina Finley ("Law and Order"), Daniela Ruah ("Midnight Passion"), Stacie Davis ("The Wire") -- and tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the legendary group of African-American combat pilots in World War II. With access to mission logbooks and interviewing surviving members of the original group of pilots, hopefully this will be the solid big screen depiction that the airmen have so long deserved.

As the press release notes, this is the first project from LucasFilm in seventeen years that is not a "Stars Wars" or "Indiana Jones" affiliated production. So that's something of a feat in itself. Say what you will about Lucas, but he doesn't spare any expense or technology when it comes to special effects so we're anxious to see what the studio will do with the aerial combat sequences.

There's still no word on when we'll actually see the film but it looks like it's nearing the finish line -- could it be ready in time for a TIFF premiere perhaps? We hope so. [via JazzCorner]

This article is related to: Films, Composers, Red Tails, Terrence Blanchard


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