George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars universe, has come up for air to bag on the Hollywood Studios and the way they block creative talent and mismanage the movie business. He blames the corporations that are running it. Lucas spoke with CBS anchor Charlie Rose during an interview at Chicago Ideas Week. This is what he had to say.
“You’re selling creativity. Raw creativity from talented people. Now, the problem has always been the studios. Although the beginning of the studios, the entrepreneurs who ran the studios were sort of creative guys. They would just take books and turn them into movies and do things like that. Suddenly all these corporations were coming in. They didn’t know anything about the movie business.”
Lucas, who graduated from the University of Southern California, explained when he began his career there was a short span of time when studio executives trusted the creative types coming out of film school.
“The studios went back to saying, Well we don’t trust you people and we think we know how to make movies,’” Lucas said. “The studios change everything all the time. And, unfortunately, they don’t have any imagination and they don’t have any talent.”
Lucas noted, if he were trying to make his brand of science fiction today, it would never see the light of day. Lucas did credit one studio executive, Alan Ladd, Jr., for trusting his judgment and vision.
“He believed in me because he loved ‘American Graffiti.’ He said, ‘You’re a talented guy. I’ll do whatever you want to do.’ But you’d never hear that today,” Lucas said. “He said, ‘You know, I don’t understand what this thing is about big dogs flying spaceships around. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Are you sure this is going to work?’ And I said, ‘Well, I know it’s different but, you know, I believe in it.'”
Lucas sold his lucrative “Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away…” franchise to Disney for $4.05 billion almost two years ago. Currently, Lucas is making plans for the construction of his Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in the Museum Campus of Chicago’s lakefront. Lucas’ wife, Mellody Hobson, is a Chicago area native.
The seventh chapter in the “Star Wars” saga will arrive in theaters on December 18, 2015.
Sources: The Wrap, The Hollywood Reporter