George Lucas has a resume filled with success in the movie industry yet there lingers one regret that haunts him. Lucas brought the world Star Wars and American Graffiti. His success rate is pretty doggone good. But Lucas, too, has a clunker in his work. It’s called Howard the Duck, starring Lea Thompson and an animated duck named Howard.
Lucas tried to take a character from the Howard the Duck cartoons in the 1970s and bring it to the big screen. Yet his version of Howard did not reflect a grittier, somewhat naughty cartoon figure. Nope, the Howard of the movie tended to be rather boring and plain.
For his part, George Lucas believes another director would have made the movie a lot better. He talks about it in an interview with The Telegraph. “My greatest regret in my career is that John [Landis] was unable to direct Howard the Duck,” Lucas said. “I feel the movie would have been far more successful and saved me the years of hardship following its release.”
‘Howard the Duck’ Isn’t Among Director’s Best
What is Howard the Duck the movie about? Here is a description from IMDb: “A sarcastic humanoid duck is pulled from his homeworld to Earth where he must stop an alien invasion with the help of a nerdy scientist and a struggling female rock singer.”
Getting Landis might have helped this movie to be lesss of a stinker. When the movie came out in 1986, though, Landis was dealing with a tragedy. In filming Twilight Zone: The Movie, a helicopter flying above actor Vic Morrow and two children fell on them. All three were dismembered in the tragic accident.
Landis faced lawsuits and time in court after this happened. George Lucas might have wanted Landis, who directed such movies as National Lampoon’s Animal House, The Blues Brothers, and The Kentucky Fried Movie. But he probably didn’t have the bandwidth to put his full attention on Howard the Duck.
Over the years, this movie has been torn to shreds by movie fans. One of the most striking things they point toward is the blandness of the movie’s script. In turn, that leads to a blandness in the movie production itself. Sure, the animation of Howard is interesting to watch. Yet some things don’t match up when he moves or talks.
George Lucas Keeps Focus On Pleasing Fans
George Lucas did go on from Howard the Duck to make better movies. Still, to this day, not having Landis direct it gnaws at him a little bit. Due to Landis’ troubles, it might have been a good thing to leave him alone. Landis would have brought unnecessary attention from Twilight Zone into this flick.
Howard the Duck did not win any Oscars and it’s pretty obvious why. George Lucas, though, knows that he doesn’t make films for the breathy movie critics who still slam his work.
“Star Wars, oddly enough, doesn’t really get that many awards,” Lucas said. “I’m not a big favorite with the critics, but who listens to them? I’m not a big industry favorite either, but of course, they are a bunch of studio executives. The most important people for any filmmaker, the reason that I make films, is for you! The audience rules! Thank you. Thank you very much!”
George Lucas has scored big successes in his career and that’s what matters to him. If the moviegoer is happy and shares the good news about his work, then millions might follow. All the director hopes for is that the paying customer enjoys himself or herself.
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