George Lucas wants to shoot an as-yet untitled Star Wars TV series in the Czech Republic, but only if local politicians will institute financial incentives.
“Your politicians need to react to the current situation,” he told the Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes during a visit to the set of Red Tails, which he is executive producing in Prague.
Lucas filmed several episodes of his TV series The Adventures Of The Young Indiana Jones in Prague in the 1990s. “We found so much talent here and we were always happy to come back. But the Czech government hasn’t noticed that the world has changed since then.
“The financial crisis is causing more problems for the film industry than almost any other business, so logically we are looking for the most best conditions, and nowadays they are offered in many countries in Europe,” Lucas said.
Lucas praised the Czech crews working now on Red Tails. “Practically 90 percent of the crew is local,” he said. But he noted that many other territories — including Hungary, Australia and individual U.S. states — were offering incentives to film-makers and taking productions away from the Czech Republic.
Lucas denied previous reports that he had decided to film the Star Wars TV series in Australia. He said if he brought the production to the Czech Republic, it would last four to seven years, creating up to 700 jobs.
“[Czech] politicians should remember that it’s not just film productions they’re losing: We also pay for hotels, locations, cars and other services. As much as 70 percent of the budget stays in the country where we shoot,” Lucas said.