Not everyone feels the love for George Lucas, if you go by the detractors calling him things like "the Antichrist" in the upcoming documentary The People vs. George Lucas. But one important supporter not only praises Lucas but considers the creator of Star Wars another Thomas Edison—Alice in Wonderland producer Richard D. Zanuck, quoted in the L.A. Times.
As if that's not enough, Zanuck also compares Lucas to the creator of Mickey Mouse. When asked about Lucas' reputation for caring more about ideas than people, Zanuck said, "Well, if so, thank goodness for all of us that that's how his brain works. Look at the impact he's had and the work he's done. He's like Walt Disney."
Zanuck, who also produced Jaws and Cocoon, and who first met the "painfully shy" Lucas at an advance screening of Steven Spielberg's first feature film, The Sugarland Express, believes the fact that Lucas took his massive profits from Star Wars and used them in the name of industry innovation elevates him into the Edison territory.
"He's the only person, with the exception of Sam Goldwyn, who literally put his own money in," said Zanuck. "Sam financed and owned 100 percent of all those great pictures he made, and no one else has ever done that, not like he did. George put it back into ILM and Skywalker Ranch and THX sound. He put it into the greatest equipment, all of it up to date. ... He's the only one who ever gave back to the industry in terms of the technology investment. And I guess James Cameron, now, but that's on a different scale. He's really been an innovator like nobody else. He's the Thomas Edison of our time."
What do you think? Can George Lucas be compared to the inventor who gave us the light bulb?