CON 2006: ‘Flyboys’ Takes Off

ON

The first event I took in at this year’s Comic-Con was the hour long panel for Flyboys, a film set during World War I in which a group of young Americans volunteered to fight alongside their counterparts in France; some in the infantry, some in the Ambulance Corps. A handful of others had a different idea: they decided to learn how to fly. The first of them – a squadron of only 38 – became known as the Lafayette Escadrille. In time, America joined their cause. The Escadrille pilots became legendary. Flyboys is inspired by their story.

The film stars James Franco, Jean Reno, Martin Henderson, Jennifer Decker, Tyler Labine and David Ellison. Of the bunch David Ellison was on hand to talk about the film along with director Tony Bill, producer Dean Devlin and visual effects supervisor Mark Franco.

It has been 40 years since The Blue Max brought us a story of World War I, and before that it was something like 75 years since Oscar-winner Wings took flight in theaters so Flyboys has a heavy task on its hands. Why has it been so long since a WWI film? Director Tony Bill told us, “No producers with the imagination Dean has.”

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