By the late ’70s, Clint Eastwood had made a name for himself as the tough-guy star of cop-on-the-edge flicks and spaghetti Westerns, his permanent grimace a symbol of macho heroism. As the star of the Dirty Harry franchise, he fashioned himself as a protector with an edge, and in Sergio Leone’s epochal Dollars trilogy, he nearly ascended into the annals of cinematic legend. Having built up all this public goodwill, Eastwood decided the time was right to use that clout on the kind of project actors dream of their whole lives: a buddy comedy where he stars opposite an orangutan.
Clint Eastwood is no doubt riding high off the success of airplane pilot true-life drama Sully, and he’s ready for his next biopic. Today, he announced he would be tackling the story of Jessica Buchanan, the aid worker who was abducted in Somalia in October 2011.
Even by the standards of a biopic about an incredibly famous man at the center of an incredibly famous real-life event there isn’t a ton of suspense in Sully. Everyone who was alive and conscious on January 15, 2009 remembers what happened that day, when Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River after the plane was struck by birds during takeoff.(I certainly do; I’d just arrived at my condo for the Sundance Film Festival and watched the rescue efforts unfold on live television.)
If you’re looking to cast an actor as a humble, honorable American hero in your movie, Tom Hanks is your man. He’s the kind of good guy the whole family can get behind, and who will make your dad tear up at the movies. And now he’s playing that role again, this time in pilot’s gear.
On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 was struck by a flock of geese during takeoff from LaGuardia Airport. The plane’s captain, Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger, successfully brought the plane down in the Hudson River, where all 155 passengers and crew members were evacuated and survived. It was an incredible story, one that played out in real time on the news; I vividly remember being at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and watching the whole rescue play out on television.