Robert Zemeckis’s return to live-action filmmaking, the Denzel Washington mystery thriller “Flight,” will world premiere as the Closing Night film for the upcoming 50th New York Film Festival (September 28 – October 14). The trailer is below.
Written by John Gatins (“Dreamer: Inspired By a True Story,” “Real Steel”), “Flight” is about a commercial airline pilot (Washington) who saves a damaged plane and 98 lives on a flight carrying 106 people. The pilot struggles with being labeled a hero as he is scrutinized for his behavior the night before the mid-air catastrophe. The movie also stars John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, Bruce Greenwood and Kelly Reilly.
Produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald under Zemeckis, Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke’s ImageMovers banner, the movie marks the first pairing for the star and the director. The movie was filmed last fall on location in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Paramount Pictures release is due in theaters on November 2. This NYFF berth suggests that Paramount harbors awards hopes for the movie, particularly Washington’s performance. Zemeckis may be seeking some career rehab and prestige cred, as the A-lister lost his Disney deal for ImageMovers, which later moved to Universal, after the disastrous box office performance of performance capture film “Mars Needs Moms.”
“Robert Zemeckis has shown his diversity as a storyteller in comedies, dramas and has skillfully translated narratives into special effect environments,” said Rose Kuo, Executive Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center. “It is a pleasure to see him bring to life this complicated, tragic-comic portrait of a man in crisis, with an exceptional and poignant performance by Denzel Washington.”
The 17-day New York Film Festival books some 25 top films a year from around the world. The selection committee, chaired by outgoing director Richard Peña, who is retiring after 25 years, includes:
Melissa Anderson, Contributor, Village Voice; Scott Foundas, Associate Program Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center; Todd McCarthy, Chief Film Critic, The Hollywood Reporter; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight and Sound.