I’ve always found Robert Zemeckis’s films to be hit or miss. Lately he’s been pretty solidly in the miss category though. Sometimes it’s hard to remember he directed films like Back to the Future or Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Movies that were full of genre weirdness, but were undeniably mainstream because they had that certain Robert Zemeckis touch. It’s even kind of hard to remember that he made the movie with perhaps the most universal appeal of all time in Forrest Gump. It’s hard to remember because of the last ten years of weird looking, off putting, motion capture animation movies that he’s insisted on making. His next film was set to be another of those creepy exercises in something nobody ever asked for, this time a motion capture take on the Beatles classic Yellow Submarine, but then Mars Needs Moms tanked at the box office. Suddenly the hammer was put down on weird, experimental forms of animation, and that left Zemeckis scrambling to find a script for a live action film to direct.
Well, hark; he seems to have found it. The movie is called Flight and John Gatins, who is also responsible for the upcoming Real Steel, wrote it. It tells the story of a pilot who saves a lot of lives during a plane malfunction due to some fancy flying and controlled crashing. He gets hailed as a hero for his troubles, but then there’s a twist. Despite the fact that his flying saved lives during the crash, tests show that he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol during the whole ordeal. The pilot’s union and the airline want to keep the test results very hush-hush, and now he has to find a way to handle his guilt as the whole world wants to pat him on the back. Gatins wrote the script with intentions of directing it himself, but now that he has already been tapped to write a sequel of his rock ‘em sock ‘em robots movie Real Steel and a name like Zemeckis wants the script for himself, chances are good it’s going to be taken out of Gatins’s hands lickity-split. Denzel Washington is also said to be “loosely attached” to the film, whatever that means, but I can see the looseness tightening up real quick if Zemeckis’s deal to direct goes through. Which it must. We should be willing to give Zemeckis whatever he wants to get him away from directing creepy, dead-eyed, animated Frankenmonsters and back to sticking with the original performances of real actors. For the good of the children.
Source: Deadline Greenbow