clint eastwood chesley "sully" sullenberger

After the terrible American Sniper fracas — if you lived under a rock, it went something like this: “Doggonit am I mad about falsehoods and misrepresentations in a film that I obstinately refuse to see anything more than a trailer from!” — it’s almost a given that Clint Eastwood‘s next film will incur considerably less controversy than the box-office sensation. But that doesn’t mean he’s quelled a rebellious side, for what’s likely the next, currently untitled feature will concern Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who, in 2009, heroically landed a U.S. Airways liner in the Hudson River just off the coast of Manhattan. More than chronicling that widely lauded event, the picture, as scripted by Todd Komarnicki, will also document a behind-the-scenes drama “that could have cost him his reputation and his wings.” [The Wrap]

The likely subplot, which can be read about here, is fodder enough for some sort of filmic investigation, though I can imagine the more “public” subject being something Eastwood takes a certain interest in. Along with continuing his recent trend of biopics (or films based in historical record) — from the Iwo Jima films to Changeling to J. Edgar to Jersey Boys to Sniper, with even a bit of Hereafter‘s chronicling of the Indian Ocean tsunami up for consideration — the perception that these things leave on the larger public are often at the pictures’ fringes. Here, though, it’s almost inescapable, and to see that explored might, given good material, make for a fascinating next step in this long, amazing career. How many filmmakers in their mid-80s can even lay claim to that?

For more access to this material, have a listen to Sullenberger’s cockpit recording and a brief piece on the event itself:

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