Tom Hanks Eyes Lead Role in Clint Eastwood’s Captain Sully Biopic

We learned earlier this month that, fresh from the tremendous box office success of American Sniper, Clint Eastwood is lining up a new big screen biopic, planning to tackle the story of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberg, the American hero who, in 2009, successfully landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in what has famously become known as the Miracle on the Hudson. Now, Deadline reports that fellow multi-Oscar winner Tom Hanks is in talks to headline.

The film, which is at the moment without a title, will be based on Sullenberger’s 2009 autobiography, Highest Duty. Written with Jeffrey Zaslow, the book is described on Sullenberger’s official site as follows:

On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed a remarkable emergency landing when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger skillfully glided US Airways Flight 1549 onto the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. His cool actions not only averted tragedy but made him a hero and an inspiration worldwide.

Highest Duty is Sully’s story—a story of dedication, hope, and preparedness, revealing the important lessons he learned through childhood, in his military service, and in his work as a commercial airline pilot. It reminds us all that, even in these days of war, tragedy, and economic uncertainty, there are values still worth fighting for—that life’s challenges can be met if we’re ready for them.

“I am very glad my story is in the hands of gifted storyteller and filmmaker Clint Eastwood, and veteran producers Allyn Stewart and Frank Marshall,” said Sullenberger of the feature film earlier this month. “The project could not have found a better home than Warner Bros. Pictures. This is truly a dream team.”

Hanks, who was last on the big screen in 2013’s Saving Mr. Banks, will soon be starring in Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, the true story of the Cold War’s U-2 spy plane incident and the man tasked by the CIA to negotiate with the Soviet Union.

Eastwood will also produce the film through his Malpaso Productions alongside Frank Marshall of Kennedy/Marshall and Allyn Stewart of Flashlight Films.

 (Photo Credit: FayesVision /