Almost immediately following the heroic crash landing of a US Airways flight in the Hudson River in January 2009, there was talk of a movie version. The pilot who saved all 155 passengers and crew members, Captain Chesley Sullenberger, was quickly branded a hero of unreal proportions, so of course he was going to make a great character for the big screen. Within a few months, there was rumor that Tom Cruise would play the guy, famously nicknamed “Sully,” but that was just a rumor.
A year later, though, producers Frank Marshall (Always) and Allyn Stewart (Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For) optioned Sully’s memoir (written with Jeffrey Zaslow), “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters.” Five years later, The Hollywood Reporter tells us it’s finally got a studio in Warner Bros. and a director in Clint Eastwood, who is now making this his follow-up to the smash hit American Sniper, about a very different kind of real American hero. The Sully movie, which may simply be titled Sully, will have a script by Todd Komarnicki (Perfect Stranger).
Here are three more things I hope that it has:
1. Sully as Himself — Movies about heroes as amazing and likable as Captain Sully need to cast the real deal in the lead. Like Jackie Robinson in The Jackie Robinson Story, Muhammad Ali in The Greatest, Audie Murphy in To Hell and Back, Howard Stern in Private Parts and Daniel Bruhl’s character in Inglorious Basterds in the fake Nazi propaganda film Nation’s Pride. Not that I’m comparing Sully to a Nazi or this to a Nazi propaganda film. It’s just analogically relevant.
2. Harrison Ford as Someone – Ford is too old to play Sully, and he wouldn’t fit the part really anyway, but THR points out that he’s the one who brought this story to Marshall (who also produced the Indiana Jones movies). That combined with the fact that he had his own miraculous crash landing early this year means the actor definitely needs a part or at least a cameo in this movie.
3. Geese POV – Ever since Eastwood gave us the double shot of Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, I’ve wanted the opposing-perspectives treatment from all his projects. Who wouldn’t love to see him follow Sully with a nearly silent feature about the day in the life of a flock of geese hanging out in Queens who tragically meet their end in the engines of an Airbus jet? Well, if not that, Eastwood at least better give us a sequence showing the geese’s POV. Poor geese.