George Lucas has tapped John Ridley (THREE KINGS, UNDERCOVER BROTHER) to write his pet project RED TAILS, the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, reports VARIETY. The script will be based on a story by Lucas, who is funding development via Lucasfilm and exec producing. Industrial Light & Magic will handle the aerial battles.
The story chronicles the young African-American pilots who broke the color barrier to become the first black U.S. fighter pilots. The title of the project refers to the Tuskegee Airmen's planes' tails, which were painted red.
Rick McCallum and Charles Floyd Johnson are the producers.
Lucas sought out Ridley after reading his screenplay L.A. RIOTS, which is set up for Spike Lee to direct. For research, Ridley recently met with the surviving pilots at a Texas convention.