“I’m retiring. I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.”
So said George Lucas to The New York Times in an interview published Tuesday.
But should the director's supporters — or detractors — believe him?
According to the article, Lucas is still leaving room for a possible fifth installment in the Indiana Jones franchise. He also said he might go back to his "THX 1138" roots and make experimental movies that would only be shown in art houses, if anywhere.
That's the kind of wiggle room that would make Steven Soderbergh proud. The director has stated in numerous interviews that he intends to retire from making movies to focus on painting full-time. But in addition to "Haywire," which hits theaters Friday, he also has "Magic Mike" due June 29, and "Behind the Candelabra" set for release next year.
Also, Lucas could be smarting from the treatment he allegedly got from Hollywood while trying to make the Lucasfilm-produced "Red Tails," which hits theaters Friday.
Last week, he talked about how difficult it was to sell studios on the project during a "Daily Show" appearance.
"It's because it's an all-black movie," he told Jon Stewart. "There's no major white roles at all. It's one of the first all-black action pictures ever made."
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Whether Lucas is disgruntled enough to break up with Hollywood remains to be seen. But at least one trusted associate believes Lucas really is exiting the business.
“Once ['Red Tails'] is finished, he’s done everything he’s ever wanted to do,” Rick McCallum, who has produced the last three "Star Wars" installments, told the Times. “He will have completed his task as a man and a filmmaker.”