Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood have teamed up for Sully, a film many movie industry insiders are saying could generate Oscar buzz. Based on the true story of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s heroic water landing of an Airbus A320 on the Hudson River in 2009, acccording to Entertainment Weekly, Tom Hanks stars as the seasoned pilot, Sully, while Clint Eastwood directs.
Both Hanks and Eastwood have plenty of Oscar experience with Tom winning two of his five Best Actor nominations and Clint winning five of his twelve nominations in various categories including Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Picture.
The intense two-minute trailer for Sully shows a white-haired Tom Hanks struggling with the breadth of emotions Captain Sully experienced both during the flight and through its aftermath. Hanks, who has a history of playing a fellow who has issues with air transportation both in Castaway and Apollo 13, once again appears to have transformed himself into the very embodiment of each character Tom portrays. Brace for impact everyone. The Sully trailer is pretty intense.
Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger performed nothing short of a miracle with US Airways Flight 1549 on January 15, 2009 when he initiated a water landing on the Hudson River just three minutes after taking off from La Guardia Airport. It was determined the plane suffered engine failure after a flock of geese struck both engines of the Airbus A320. As the Hanks and Eastwood collaboration reveals, Sully came under heavy scrutiny by the FAA and NTSB, who wondered if the pilot was hasty in his decision to ditch the plane in the Hudson rather than attempt to make it back to a nearby airfield.
Miraculously, all passengers and flight crew survived the catastrophe thanks to the extensive flight experience of Sully and his first officer, Jeffrey Skiles. Nearly half of the passengers of Flight 1549 were treated for hypothermia due to the frigid temperatures of the Hudson River during the harsh New York winter.
Similar to the horrific images of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers on September 11, video surfaced of both the high impact landing on the Hudson and the subsequent rescue of Captain Sully and his passengers.
While Hanks has the burden of portraying Sully as both the mythical hero he became in the eyes of many and the quiet man who lingers underneath, Eastwood had the tough job of trying to give the audience a complete picture of the miracle on the Hudson as well as the roller coaster ride Sullenberger experienced after.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly in October, Eastwood stated:
“People saw the landing, but what followed is where the conflict is. There was an investigation into his (Sullenberger’s) decision and it was painting a picture that he had done the wrong thing, that he could have made it back to La Guardia or Teterboro. What happened behind closed doors is what most people don’t know.”
But one person seems to think that Hanks and Eastwood have gotten Sully right, and it could be the person who matters the most to Tom and Clint who have like to tell authentic stories about real people… Captain Sully himself.
The sixty-five year old Sullenberger took to his own Twitter account to promote the Hanks and Eastwood project:
— Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) June 30, 2016
Sully is set to hit theaters September 9. It will be a busy couple of months for Tom Hanks as he promotes Sully for September and the Ron Howard directed Inferno for its October release. Meanwhile, at 86-years-old, it appears Clint Eastwood might be slowing down, with only a producer credit on his upcoming projects list.
While we all know how the miracle on the Hudson ends, the telling of Sully’s heroism by Hanks and Eastwood is sure to tug at the heartstrings of the theater going audience who is seeking inspiration. And who knows? Maybe Hanks’ old co-star Wilson will bob along in the background during the rescue scenes.
[Image by Mario Tama/Getty Images.]