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George Lucas recently stopped by The Daily Show to talk about his new film Red Tails, which is about the trials and triumphs of the first all-black aerial combat unit, the Tuskegee Airmen.

Lucas, who is one of Hollywood’s biggest names, says that even he (despite his influence) had a difficult time trying to get this film made. Lucas has been working on the project for over 23 years trying to convince studios to give it a chance; however, many have been hesitant to back an action film because of its black cast.

Instead, Lucas poured $93 million of his own money into the film and forced the the studios to reconsider.

During the interview, Lucas explained why it’s so difficult for black films to find their way to box offices. As most of us already know, it boils down to one thing: money.

Studios do not want to invest the resources into high-quality films with black casts because they don’t think their investments will be returned in the form of large box office numbers, here or abroad. With Red Tails, Lucas hopes to prove them wrong.

So why did George Lucas use nearly $100 million of his own money on this film? He said that he made Red Tails to show teenage boys that there are real, inspirational American heroes.

Although many black filmmakers don’t have $93 million to get a film made, perhaps the success of Red Tails will finally open the door (and the box office), to more well-crafted black films.

‘Red Tails’ will hit theaters Jan. 20, check out the trailer below.

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