Following on from hints that he will retire soon, acclaimed director George Lucas has insisted he will wind down his directorial career.

The iconic Star Wars director told Empire: "I'm moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff".

Lucas has been involved with the film project, Red Tails, which he began developing in the late eighties but has been halted several times until it began pre-production in 2009. Produced by his company, Lucasfilm, Lucas has been forced to use his own money to fund, distribute and publicise the film.

Earlier this year he sensationally claimed to The Daily Show that funding was hard to get as Hollywood doesn't support a film that has "no major white roles".

Save for possible Indiana Jones films in the future, the director says he will withdraw from blockbusters and any projects that he will do will be "esoteric and screened mostly in art-houses".

Lucas also speaks about being criticised for his depection of the Star Wars saga, saying: "On the internet, all those same guys that are complaining I made changes are completely changing the movie. Fine. But my movie, with my name on it, that says I did it, needs to be the way I want it. Why would I make any more when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?”

Red Tails is out in cinemas in Ireland on June 6.