Friday, 17 July 2015

Clint Eastwood to direct a film on another American hero in US Airways pilot Sully Sullenberger

I've been keeping a close eye on this story, and it looks more and more as if the project could be going ahead. Clint was spotted on the Warner Bros lot a couple of days - apparently getting involved with some pre-production aspect of his next project. So based upon that information, here's a few bits I have collated since last month - when rumours of the 'Sully' project started to surface.

Fresh from the success of American Sniper, Clint Eastwood has been announced as the director of a new movie about another American hero – Captain Sullenberger. US Airways pilot Sully Sullenberger gained instant global fame for displaying tremendous grace under pressure when he landed his disabled jet on the Hudson River in 2009, saving the lives of everyone aboard. Warner Bros. has secured the movie rights to the heroic story that was quickly called The Miracle on the Hudson, although no title has been announced yet for the movie.

Eastwood will direct the film from a screenplay by Todd Komarnicki, based on the book Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, by Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow. The announcement was made on Tuesday by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures, reports The Wrap. The film is being produced by Eastwood and Tim Moore, for Malpaso; Frank Marshall, under the Kennedy/Marshall banner; and Allyn Stewart, for Flashlight Films. Flashlight’s Kipp Nelson and RatPac-Dune’s Steven Mnuchin are serving as executive producers.

'Simply put, Clint Eastwood is at the top of his game, not to mention a global treasure,' said Silverman. 'On the heels of his extraordinary work in American Sniper, it is tremendously exciting to see him explore the life of another captivating true-life hero.'

He said the movie will go beyond Sullenberger's calm handling of US Airways flight 1549 and explore events behind the scenes as the drama unfolds. 
'I am very glad my story is in the hands of gifted storyteller and filmmaker Clint Eastwood,' said Sullenberger. Back in January, he was among a group of pilots and passengers who attended a ceremony to mark the fifth anniversary of the remarkable event.

'I'm filled with joy and gratitude about what was able to be accomplished by so many five years ago today and the fact that all 155 passengers and crew are here today because of it,' said Sullenberger.

The flight had just taken off from LaGuardia Airport when a flock of geese disabled the engines. Sullenberger safely glided to a water landing and all 155 passengers and crew members were rescued. Sullenberger and about a half-dozen passengers gathered at the NY Waterway ferry terminal to thank the ferry boat company, whose boats quickly got to the downed plane and rescued people. They then boarded a boat and sailed out to the area of the landing, where they raised a toast.

Eastwood struck critical and commercial gold last year with his biopic of American war hero Chris Kyle. American Sniper was the highest-grossing film of 2014 in the United States - taking $350 million - it was also the highest-grossing war film of all time unadjusted for inflation and Eastwood's highest-grossing film to date. At the 87th Academy Awards, it received six nominations, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor for Bradley Cooper, ultimately winning one award for Best Sound Editing.

Tom Hanks is in final talks to play the pilot who flew his stricken aircraft into the Hudson river, saving all 155 passengers, in Clint Eastwood’s real-life drama Sully.

Variety reports Hanks is considering the role of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who pulled off the miraculous escape on 15 January 2009 after his Airbus A320 had hit a flock of Canada geese during its climb out of nearby LaGuardia airport in Queens, New York. Eastwood signed on to direct earlier this month following the spectacular box-office success of his Iraq war drama, American Sniper, last year. Previous reports suggested the project might be titled Miracle on the Hudson.

Sully will be based on Sullenberger’s New York Times bestselling memoir Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, which has been adapted to the screen by Perfect Stranger writer Todd Komarnicki. Eastwood turned down the chance to direct Jonah Hill in the story of Olympic bomb-plot hero Richard Jewell in order to take on the film. 

The Oscar-winning film-maker, 85, has his pick of Hollywood projects after American Sniper scored $543m worldwide to become the top-grossing film of 2014 at the US box office on the back of a surge of patriotism.

Sully would mark Hanks’s latest in a series of recent roles playing totemic real-life figures. In 2013 the 58-year-old Oscar-winning star of Philadelphia played heroic merchant mariner Captain Richard Phillips in Captain Phillips, and iconic film-maker Walt Disney in Saving Mr Banks.

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