In preparation, George Lucas and his staff interviewed surviving Tuskegee Airmen and were given access to their original mission logbooks.
Cuba Gooding Jr. is not new to the subject of the film. He has previously been in The Tuskegee Airmen (1995).
George Lucas began developing Red Tails around 1988 but was unable to secure funding from any major studio, as any he approached believed that producing a film featuring an all black cast would be unmarketable. As a result, Lucas ended up funding the project with his own money, investing $58 million into the production of the film, and a further $35 million towards marketing.
This is Terrence Howard's second performance as a Tuskegee Airman, his first was Hart's War (2002).
In an interview with The New York Times, George Lucas stated that the personalities of Easy and Lightning are based on Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, respectively.
Anthony Hemingway is a longtime "Star Wars" fan. According to him, when he first met George Lucas, he was so excited that he awkwardly said "May the force be with you" which he regrets. When Lucas later hired him, he was so overwhelmed that he cried.
George Lucas studied World War II films such as Flying Leathernecks (1951) to prepare for the film.
George Lucas directed the reshoots. Anthony Hemingway was unavailable, having already committed to filming the first season of Treme (2010).
Samuel L. Jackson was in talks with George Lucas at one point to star in and possibly direct the film.
The bombers the Red Tails are escorting throughout the movie are most likely taking off from Foggia airbase in southern Italy that was captured by the the British Eighth Army in October 1943.
Aaron McGruder harshly criticized Lucas and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) in his comic strip "The Boondocks". MacGruder felt that the character of Jar Jar Binks was based on negative African-American stereotypes. But according to McGruder, Lucas did not bring it up during their meetings. They have became friends since their meeting.
A prequel and a sequel are planned. George Lucas wants Lee Daniels and Spike Lee to direct them, respectively.
George Lucas began pre-production on the film in 1988. Thomas Carter was his first choice to direct.
Terrence Howard, Kevin Phillips, and Nate Parker have worked previously worked together in Pride (2007).
There are four cast members who are alum from The Wire; Andre Royo who played Bubbles, Michael B. Jordan who played Wallace, Tristan Wilds who played Michael Lee, and Method Man who played Cheese.
In The Wire: Know Your Place (2006), Tristan Mack Wilds can be seen wearing a Tuskegee Airmen T-shirt.
Terrence Howard and Andre Royo go on to star in the hit show Empire together. Royo plays Howard's lawyer.