On the morning of January 15th, 2009, pilot Chesley Sullenberger pulled off the impossible by safely easing US Airways Flight 1549 into New York’s Hudson River after multiple bird strikes took out his plane’s engines and forced an emergency crash-landing. That incredible true story gave Clint Eastwood a subject for his latest film Sully (due September 9th), the trailer for which has now surfaced online.
Tom Hanks stars as the resourceful Sullenberger, played here as a typically Eastwoodian conflicted hero. The real-life Sully was immediately anointed a super-saint once the news of his extraordinary act of courage got out, but there’s no drama in watching a guy enjoy green-room snacks before appearing on daytime talk shows. Consequently, Eastwood’s film also trains its focus on the messy aftermath of the incident.
Sullenberger and his copilot (Aaron Eckhart) got everyone out alive, but various probes and tribunals doubted the necessity of the crash-landing and Sully’s competence. “I’ve been in the air for 40 years,” he grimly says, “but in the end, I’m gonna be judged on 208 seconds.”
It won’t be an easy judgment for him, but he’ll have support from faithful wife Lorraine (Laura Linney), not to mention his adoring public. Breaking Bad‘s Anna Gunn and Autumn Reeser (The O.C., Entourage) round out the cast for this polished-looking biopic, an expected awards contender come Oscar season.
The pedigree’s almost too strong to be denied: now 86 years old, Eastwood’s still going strong, and despite the recent stumble of A Hologram for the King, Hanks remains one of Hollywood’s biggest-name stars. Part inspirational true-life chronicle, part tangled character study, Sully could be the first breath of fresh air after the mayhem of summer blockbuster season.