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Frank Marshall & Kathleen Kennedy Snag Captain Sully's Story

by
September 29, 2010
Source: Variety

Hudson River Landing

It's been well over a year since people were regaled with the story of Capt. Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger after a bird-strike forced him to land Flight 1549 in the middle of the Hudson River on January 15th, 2009. His quick thinking and amazing flight skills allowed him to save the lives of all 155 passengers on board his plane. Though the event was captured on security cameras, Variety reports the story is now set to go before Hollywood cameras as Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy have optioned the film rights to Sully's memoir Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, which was published earlier this year. Read on!

Flashlight Films is also prodcuing and currently searching for writers. No studio is yet attached to the project but with super producers like Kennedy and Marshall, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Though it seems like a move like this should've been a little more timely (I'm surprised a TV movie hasn't already been made), apparently Sully was leery about optioning the rights. Apparently it was Harrison Ford who convinced the pilot (no he's not involved with the project) at an aviation event that he should go to The Kennedy/Marshall Co. for the project. Marshall couldn't be more excited about the prospect:

"It was my lucky day. Kathy and I have always been attracted to regular people in extraordinary situations. This guy is a true American hero. What I love about this story is that it's positive at a time when everything is negative. The amazing thing was, Flight 1549 only lasted 3½ minutes, but Sully made all the right decisions, against all the odds. I do feel like all those decisions were informed by his past experiences and training. He is the pilot we all want to be up front in the cockpit."

The book apparently "reflects on that day, as well as Sullenberger's childhood love of planes and his flying career -- as well as how he and his family coped with the onslaught of sudden celebrity." Sure it's an interesting story to read, but I'm not entirely sure how this will translate to screen without some seriously dramatization and creative liberties. The closest thing that I can think of for this project to aspire to is United 93, but they each seem to be on quite different playing fields. Is what happens in the air enough of a struggle to build an entire feature film around it? Marshall's comments hint to the potential use of flashbacks, or some non-linear narrative device, but I guess we'll find out eventually. Do you think Captain Sully's story needs a film?

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  • Xerxex
    would make for a short film...kinda seems pointless, Capt. Sulley is awesome and all...but movie wise? I don't know.
  • Shige
    Why do they have to milk every single little thing. THis would be more appropriate as one of those short crash documentaries lasting like 10 minutes.
  • beavis
    if they make a movie out of this - it'll essentially boil down to 3-4 minutes of good footage of him landing the plane......... and that's it. there really isn't enough material here for a whole movie. i agree with xerxex and shige on this.
  • Fox
    - Executive producer: "How do we make a feature movie out a story with 3-4 minutes ?" - Someone: "Snakes on a plane, sir?"
  • totylertarian
    This is so mawkish. Captain Sully isn't a hero, he is a regular guy thrown into a position that ended positively. Americans need to get over this congratulatory response to anyone who does anything.
  • andrew
    @ totylertarian I disagree only on the point that I think it's possible to be herioc in a situation and to be ordinary and a hero............but yeah I agree on the rest and my sentiment is that if you or I had become pilots it's very likey at least one of us would have done all we could in that situation whether we would have come out alive or not.....he's to be congratulated and is a "hero", but considering my above statements there has to be some perspective from all the sensationalists out there.....including those that think making a film about an ordinary guy who for a very short (less-than-a-movie-short) time did something remarkable and commendable...... The whole concept of "heros' makes my eyes role anyway.....
  • bone
    whats the big deal??? pilots are TRAINED to do this sort of thing...I know cuz I wuz one...they are called "Emergency Procedures" and must be practiced a set number of times during each annual flight period by FAA regulations in order to maintain flight currency..yes he did a great job but it was what he was EXPECTED to do...this isnt going to make a feature length film....the Hollywood hacks need to get off their collective asses and EARN their living by being original, not scraping a movie out of the daily news headlines...

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