Back in 2009, the world was captivated by the heroics of US Airways pilot Captain Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger, as he made an incredible emergency landing on the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers on board. This fall, his story will be told on the big screen in the upcoming biopic Sully, which has been scheduled for release on September 9. While we wait for the new trailer, the first photo and poster have arrived, offering our first look at Tom Hanks as the title character, and Aaron Eckhart as Sully's co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles.
Sully Sullenberger was thrust into the national spotlight on January 15, 2009, after his emergency landing that became known as the Miracle on the Hudson. After a flock of geese flew into the plane shortly after takeoff, the pilot managed a miraculous landing in the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers on board, making him a national hero. Entertainment Weekly caught up with Aaron Eckhart, who had plenty of praise for his co-star Tom Hanks.
"He really embodied him, just physically with his hair, and the mustache. He started holding himself straight like Sully did, and his economy of speech, and all of that sort of stuff that really nailed the precision of Captain Sullenberger. It was really impressive."
The real Sully often visited the set of this biopic, directed by Clint Eastwood, which is based on Sully's 2009 book Highest Duty, which he co-wrote with Jeffrey Zaslow. The book chronicles his childhood, military service and his years as a commercial airline pilot, and the movie will also explore the investigation that almost destroyed Sully's life and career. During the production, they shot on a massive pool soundstage at Warner Bros. where an actual Airbus A320 was disaassembled and taken to the set. Here's what Aaron Eckhart had to say about the production, both in the studio and on location on the Hudson River.
"I've been making movies for a long time, but whenever you see a complete plane in a pool right there - it blew us away, everybody was very impressed with that. We had all of the actual boats that were used in the rescue on the Hudson, a lot of the same people who were all there. It was quite moving to hear them tell their tale and to get the feel of what it was like. It was very cold, and everybody said it was very quiet."
Before production started, both Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart trained on a simulator of the Airbus A320 which was programmed with the flight pattern of US Airways Flight 1549. Both actors also studied transcripts from the cockpit on that fateful day. Here's what Aaron Eckhart had to say about his preparations for Sully.
"For simulation we had the exact flight pattern mapped out on the simulator as they flew on that particular flight, and that was interesting because you get up in the air, you're 3,000 feet or whatever it is, and you have three minutes to figure out what will happen and then to troubleshoot it and then to land the plane and make the decision to land on the Hudson, that's not a lot of time. Then we had the transcripts and the radio conversation between Sully and the tower, to hear how calm he was and how precise. It was great filming those scenes and everybody getting out on the wing and seeing Tom take charge. It was a blast."
The supporting cast includes Laura Linney, Jerry Ferrara, Autumn Reeser, Sam Huntington, Holt McCallany, Mad Adler, Lynn Marocola and Doris McCarthy. Clint Eastwood directs from a script by Todd Komarnicki (Perfect Stranger), based on the book by Sully and Jeffrey Zaslow. Take a look at the new photo and poster below, and stay tuned for the first trailer for Sully.