Legendary Star Wars creator George Lucas has told an interviewer he's retiring, after becoming frustrated at the big studios rejection of his latest action film.
The 67-year-old director, about to release a $58 million self-financed film about black US pilots in the World War II, told the New York Times that he had become disillusioned with the Hollywood film industry.
"I'm retiring. I'm moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff," Lucas said in an interview to be published when his new film Red Tails premiers in the US this Friday.
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The billionaire movie mogul told the newspaper he had to battle to get studio executives to see his film leading him to observe his reputation counted for nothing.
"Isn't their job at least to see movies? It's not like some Sundance kid coming in there and saying, 'I've got this little movie — would you see it?'"
"If Steven (Spielberg) or I or Jim Cameron or Bob Zemeckis comes in there, and they say, 'We don’t even want to bother to see it. . . .'"
The director said he was told constantly by Hollywood heavyweights that they didn't know how to market his new film and it could alienate viewers.
"You're doing it as a throwback movie? You're not going to do it as a hip, happening-now, music video kind of movie?," Lucas said imitating a studio executive.
"And you're going to be very patriotic — you're making a black movie that's patriotic?"
In the end Lucas was forced to foot the film's $58 million bill himself.
The Star Wars creator says he will not abandon film-making altogether but will make the movies that he wants, rather than what the studios dictate.
Lucas shot to fame in 1977 with the release of the original Star Wars.
He controversially chose to forgo the majority of profits from ticket sales in exchange for exclusive rights over the film's merchandise, a move that made him a billionaire and revolutionised the industry.