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Born: May 14, 1944 Modesto, California, USA
Despite mixed reviews, George Lucas’ latest installment of the Star Wars saga, Episode II – Attack of the Clones, will make hundreds of millions at the box office. This will continue Lucas’ reign as the most successful indie filmmaker ever.
Indie? An indie billionaire? Yes, Lucas is able to operate outside the usual confines of the studios because of lucrative merchandising deals he made back during the first Star Wars, where he basically got the rights because the studio believed no one would buy toys for this small sci-fi flick. Boy were they wrong. The money from those toys and other tie-ins meant that Lucas was able to finance the new trilogy and make them the way he wanted to.
Of course many people forget that not all the gold Lucas has created has been mined in outer space. His 1973 film, American Graffiti is still one of the most profitable films ever made. The 60’s nostalgia flick, which included Harrison Ford, was made for roughly $750,000. Its success gave Lucas the ability to make Star Wars.
Lucas also wrote another sci-fi flick before Star Wars, 1971’s THX 1138, which was made with financial backing from Francis Ford Coppola. The film achieved cult status and many critics believe that it, and not the much hyped Star Wars, actually represents Lucas’ finest directorial work.
Besides Star Wars, George also has an involvement in another well-loved series of films. Along with buddy Steven Spielberg, Lucas was involved in the creation of the Indiana Jones movies.
George Lucas is also the owner of the special effects company Industrial Light and Magic. This team of award-winning wizards are behind the majority of fantastic effects seen in the movies today.
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