Tony Scott Directing an Unstoppable Train Action Movie
by Alex Billington
March 27, 2009
An action movie about a train?! This is both the worst idea and best idea I've ever heard! Tony Scott has signed on to direct a thriller called Unstoppable for Fox as his next feature following The Taking of Pelham 123. Scott is working with screenwriter Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard, Deception, Race to Witch Mountain) to get the script ready for shooting later this year. The story follows a rail company that tries frantically to stop an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train carrying enough combustible liquids and poisonous gas to wipe out a nearby city. I really hope some sort of terrorists are secretly involved!
For clarification, the reason why I'm excited by this is that I have a childhood fascination with all things trains. I'm not going to go into it, but they're cool, and we don't see that many moves about them. This may not be the best reference, but think about Broken Arrow - the last half of that movie took place on a train and it was pretty frickin' cool, right? As for Tony Scott, the guy is a fairly good director (come on, Top Gun?!) but recently his action movies have been pretty bland. I mean, his last few were Man on Fire, Domino, and Deja Vu - not that exciting. I guess we can only hope for the best with Unstoppable.
Reader Feedback - 45 Comments
the title of this post made me laugh. I guess it could be an OK premise. One of my favorite movie scenes of all time was the train scene in Mission Impossible
Dan W on Mar 27, 2009
Somebody is getting paid to come up with ideas like these. Amazing.
Darunia on Mar 27, 2009
this sounds a lot like atomic train... fucking hilarious movie
avant576 on Mar 27, 2009
Come on Alex, Man on Fire was absolutely awesome!! The action in that movie was really well established and a good story as well. I know it did not have any trains though.. but still a pretty good film.
Zach M on Mar 27, 2009
Alex - how could you forget about Under Siege 2: Dark Territory? God, that was awful. And Detonator, with Pierce Brosnan and Patrick Stewart, may be one of the most horrifyingly bad films I've ever seen involving a train. Stay far away. Apparently Mr. Scott shares your fascination with trains - enough to make two train-related films back to back. Strange choice - I hope the latter is good, since I'm sure Pelham 123 won't be near as good as the original.
Ben on Mar 27, 2009
Would this be a remake of 'Runaway train' from 1985? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089941/
moif on Mar 27, 2009
Sounds like a cross between Broken Arrow and Silver Streak w/ Gene Wilder...
Bryan on Mar 27, 2009
are you high? Man on Fire was an amazing action film! the acting and the action were very well done, and some of those scenes will stick with me forever.
dave13 on Mar 27, 2009
steven seagal anyone? =P
Pedro Lopes on Mar 27, 2009
Actually Alex "Man On Fire" & "Domino" kicked ass, and Deja Vu was really enjoyable. Tony Scott is an awesome director. I can't believe that "Top Gun" was your pick out of all his great movies (True Romance/Crimson Tide/Enemy Of The State) and the three I mentioned above. This new film sounds really good, but isn't Tony going to be sick of working on trains. His latest effort "The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3" is set on a train. I really want to see Tony's remake of "The Warriors". That film was suppose to come out last year and now with this other new film it will be ways off before we see it.
Kal-el on Mar 27, 2009
Is Denzel Washington going to be in this film? Tony and him have been working together a lot lately.
Kal-el on Mar 27, 2009
Hold on Alex, Man On Fire? not exciting? Come on, that was one of the best action movies out there. I thought was on par with True Romance. His others Deja Vu and Domino, those were both terrible, that's for sure....
Conrad on Mar 28, 2009
Why are folks thinking this film is gonna be lame? There was a film with the same premise from 1985 called Runaway train starring Jon Voight. It even earned an oscar nomination for best screenplay.
John J on Mar 28, 2009
Sweet Jesus, Grab a copy of Runaway Train at your local video store or whatever and watch how freaking awesome a Runaway Train can be. That movie is awesome. For a something a little more vintage, go with Silver Streak from 1976. Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, and a....Runaway Train.
DLM Entertainment on Mar 28, 2009
Anybody that calls Man on Fire not an exciting action movie should go in the Guinness Book of World Records for biggest philistine of all time. You trash John Woo, you trash Tony Scott...do you have any idea of what action movies are supposed to be? You're giving Joaquin Phoenix a run for his money.
Cameron Cubbison on Mar 28, 2009
We can't forget about the train scene in Goldeneye too!
peloquin on Mar 30, 2009
Read "Readers Digest" March Edition 2002, their is an artical in their about a run away train in Kenton, Ohio. This movie is going to be based some what on a real event....Read up on what happened and how the train was stopped...
Jess on May 20, 2009
If this is really based on that runaway train in Kenton then this is going to be terrible. According to that Readers Digest article they caught up to the train, slowed it down by attaching another cart to it, and then hopped on and turned off the diesel power which stopped it. Wow, how exciting...
peloquin on May 22, 2009
This movie is being filmed in a small town in PA that had a runaway train spill 48000 gallons of lye into a pristine trout stream. Wonder if they will use this as their story line? see news articles below. http://www.endeavornews.com/news/2006/0708/front_page/001.html http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06187/703720-113.stm
Barb W on Jul 17, 2009
According to a local source in Columbus OH, this movie is based on a real-life event in ohio (involving a relative of the local source). The description in #19 above matches the source's account. One can only shudder at how much b.s. Hollywood will have to invent in order to make a full-length movie.
Brian Winslow on Aug 20, 2009
no this is based on a Pennsylvaina event In PA back around 2002 2003 we also had a runaway train that is why the movie is based in pa before you pose you should check your sources
pennsylvaina on Jan 6, 2011
This movie is going to be shot around where I live. Mingo JCT, OHIO. When ever it comes here I might go and see if I can meet Denzel Washington. LOL, I could only wish. The last movie shot in mingo was Deer Hunter. And that was a long, long time ago.
Joshua on Aug 22, 2009
This movie is based off my father "his character is being played by Dezel" if you look more into what actually happened Hollywood is not going to have to add more then what is needed and it should be a well filmed movie
Jess knowlton on Aug 23, 2009
I completely agree with Jess. This film has been filming in my town in McKean County, PA. IN Eldred, Port Allegany, and today they are in Olean, Ny filming. ( I work in Olean). Its very interesting. They used the 4th-10th grade students from our area school to participate. Very nice crew.
Amy Beach on Sep 11, 2009
I'm excited as well! I actually just drove my truck across the railroad that they are currently filming on in Port Matilda/Milesburg, PA. And they had the train sitting behind my friend's business down in Julian, PA. I guess supposedly they had armed guards for it while it was sitting there because my friend didn't want people trampling around his fields to look at it. I was told by my mechanics on down the road that they had the train going back and forth down the tracks the whole day today. I think it's exciting, even though I don't think I'll go stalking any of the actors. lol
Amanda on Oct 14, 2009
Today they were filming in Julian Pa...Better known as "God's Country"....I don't know how good the move will be, but the scenery shot along the train tracks on Route 220 will be awesome... Central Pennsylvania has more to offer then Joe Pa and the Lions.... Like the beautiful mountains with fall follage, especially along Route 220...Hey Denzel and Crew...Enjoy the simplicity of a small town with gentle people..!
Scarlett on Oct 21, 2009
The movie is based on this incident. http://kohlin.com/CSX8888/index.htm
AWVR videos on youtube on Oct 24, 2009
Does anyone know how to sign up for extra work on the movie?
Cat on Nov 3, 2009
They filmed in Tyrone yesterday and are filming the evacuation scene today. Very slow going...can't tell the cast from all the people milling around trying to see the movie....loud...lots of police cars and firetrucks....helicopters....people everywhere. They are filming in Tyrone tomorrow also.
Suz on Nov 3, 2009
this movie is being filmed in my town...really cool stuff all the explosions n helicopters..also filming tomorrow as well.
joshua on Nov 3, 2009
yeah it really is cool a bunch of my friends are being extra like new reporters, state police, and fire fighter it's awesome that a little town like ours is going to be fetured in a big hollywood hit. I would bet all the tickets to be sold out in Altoona when it comes to theaters!!!
tyronegirl on Nov 3, 2009
I live in the town 5 miles from were their shooting in brewster ohio.im hearing that brewster is the trains target.bad ass i live next to this shit
cody on Nov 3, 2009
they have been filming here in bellaire ohio since the 9th and i hate it, a usual 5 minute trip to the store took 1 hour to get back to my house only because a cop let me through when he wasn't suppose to. thy also wouldn't let my mother and another woman we work with out of their homes to go to work. it is too much hassle for a movie they will only put maybe 2 minutes of shots into and this is going on until th 14th.
heather on Nov 11, 2009
This movie is being filmed in Bellaire, Ohio!! http://timesleaderonline.com/page/content.detail/id/514128.html?nav=5010 Here is the link to the story this town is only 35 mins away from me. people are getting paid cheap to be in this movie, the people in this movie was a deal where they signed up and got called in from the streets
Jackie on Nov 11, 2009
I worked as an extra last week during the Bellaire 6-day shoot and must say the movie crew was fantastic. The crew put up with so much from the town, the locals and, especially, the extras yet managed to be polite and patient the entire time! Traffic was weird only 1 day, the rest of the time it was flowing --considering that only 3,000 people actually live in Bellaire. The school district DID NOT announce the altered bus schedules, so that's on them, not on the movie crew. Some of the local people actually (deliberately?) walked through complicated shots when the barricades were up! I have "extra'd" for 6 movies and the pay was not "on the cheap," but is regular rate, non-SAG pay. Extras calls were announced locally, as well as through the PGH Film Office; no one was pulled in 'off the street.' Good money for following very simple, basic directions, no skills required. The studio spent hundreds of thousands repairing the rail tracks and bridge, money that Bellaire has refused to spend for 25+ years. They spent more hundreds of thousands on locally catered food, parking, rentals, lot & store leases, OT for police, etc yet the citizens, mayor & council were complaining! There were 400 extras on the 11th and, out of that number, more than half were throwing trash around (even in people's yards!) and wandering off the set. By the 14th, our extras wrangler (totally great guy) was sending people home because they were filling their bags and pockets with food and pop. One guy was sent off for 'hitting on' every female in sight. The "gimme-gimme" attitude of most of the local extras makes me ashamed to be from the Ohio Valley; behaving like pigs (and worse) is no way to keep or entice another studio to film here again.
Trish on Nov 16, 2009
jess knowlton is a liar and doesnt even know what he's talking about... this story is really about my uncle who is the guy who attatched the cart that made the stupid train stop in the first place! besides DENZEL is the guys name not DEZEL...wow.. what a loser.
Bob on Dec 19, 2009
Lame concept, sounds horrible. And it's really based on my brother's friend's uncle's former college roommate that put hit foot in front of his Lionel HO scale train to stop it.
matt on Jan 5, 2010
I read about this story in Readers Digest, and I wondered if Hollywood made a movie about this, how would they screw it up by over-dramatizing it. Why can't movie-makers "just tell it like it is"??? Oh, that right, we live in a dumbed down nation that would rather be entertained than educated. As for my favorite train movie, it is a tie between "Von Ryan's Express" and "the Train", both excellant train movies.
working man on Jan 23, 2010
With text gleaned from the website link given below, here's more background about this picture: "[The story this film was inspired by was indeed a real-life event, which took place] on Tuesday, May 15, 2001, with CSX Transportation's locomotive No. 8888. It rolled out of (--WITHOUT AN ENGINEER ON BOARD!--) Stanley Yard near Toledo, Ohio with 47 cars in tow (22 loads and 25 empties; 2898 tons), southbound at speeds up to 47 MPH., and was finally brought to a stop some 66 miles and three hours later after another locomotive was coupled to the end, allowing a CSX Trainmaster, Mr. Jon Hosfeld, to leap aboard and shut the engine down...." NOTE: If this train had continued, it could very well have caused a disaster in some unsuspecting town along the line (even though it was being broadcast on network television as the even unfolded -- not everyone would be watching TV on a Tuesday afternoon, being at work....), as a scenario similar to the one depicted in "Silver Streak" may very well have occured. (Unlike reality, however, when cars of a real train are separated such as in S. Streak, brakes on both parts would automatically grip the wheels, stopping both parts -- but that's obviously not how S. Streak's writers wanted the story to end, so reality was "tweaked" to add some drama. The real-life CSX incident of 2005 is detailed at the following website in multiple LINKS, and has a complete story and subsequent Federal Railway Administration report LINK as well -- HERE: 2005's real-life runaway locomotive particulars: CSX 8888 (nicknamed the "Crazy Eights" engine due to that incident) is ex-Conrail No. 6410, an "SD40-2" -type engine built by the Electro-Motive Division of GENERAL MOTORS Corp., and was delivered in September of 1977 to Order Number 767078. This unit has frame/serial number 767078-7. Why report that here? Because, after viewing many online photos, it is apparent that the film company went to extraordinary details in creating a complete back-story for this fictional movie, even thought it was based on a real event. They even have a quasi-realistic (sort of) locomotive manufacture's builder-plate affixed to the engines shown in the movie! Real-life Railroad "CSX" would not let its name be attached to the picture, so the fictional "Allegheny & West Virginia Railroad" [A&WV] Company was created for this movie instead, and a bunch of of engines and freight cars had that fictional RR's name and logos applied for realism (even down to grafitti and "weathering"), as well as a fictional HAZMAT company (and its own logo), "PRIXTON," created for tank cars carrying hazmat in this movie's runaway train. Two pages of on-set photos from this film's production can also be found here:
Rhett Coates on Jun 16, 2010
DOES ANYBODY KNOWN WHEN THIS MOVIE HITS THE THEATHERS
CHRIS CARLSON on Jun 17, 2010
It says November 2010 on a website online but I'm unsure of how true that is.
Amanda on Jun 17, 2010
I have to disagree with you on one note on the movie "Man on Fire"...Violent..YES.....However, Denzel had an awesome role and played it to the hilt...He made the movie more than 'tolerable' and emotional to watch. I agree with you on De Ja Vue...Nothing could have boosted that one. I'm very anxious to see 'Unstoppable'....Love most of Denzel and Tony Scott movies...Denzel was in my home town in Central Pa filming train scenes for 'Unstoppable' last fall. The scenery is gorgeous...Fall leaves covering the mountains and town....All being a beautiful back drop for the movie...It was awesome seeing the community trains being used in a major motion picture...And, didn't hurt the economy either !!!
Bitsy on Jun 17, 2010
Jess Knowlton is a good, honest, courageous man. He has been through hell and come out the other side. The movie is true. Go see it!
Melanie Bell on Nov 6, 2010
Unstoppable would have been a good movie if the language had not been so terrible. I walked out of the theater after 20 minutes. I was very disappointed. The rating was completely wrong due to the language. I am also dissapointed in Dezel Washington after this movie.
Jeannie on Dec 10, 2010
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