Yesterday I was having lunch (which turned out awful. I don’t want to badmouth the place, but let’s just say it rhymes with ‘Crapplebee’s’) and overheard some teens at another table say they were looking forward to Clint Eastwood’s new movie Sully about a pilot played by Tom Hanks. This was a huge surprise to me for several reasons.
First, teens know who Clint Eastwood is? Clearly these were not regular millennials. They were obviously shapeshifters disguised as teens who had done their research into current adolescence because they spent most of their time typing “on fleekkkkkk” across the Snapchats of their Fiesta Lime Chicken (side note: repeating the last letter of a word does not extend the pronunciation of the word. “Fleekkkkkk” just sounds like you’re trying to tell someone you’re choking on a flea. “Fleeeeeeeek” is appropriate (side side note: no form of “fleek” is ever appropriate)).
Second, I hadn’t even heard of this movie yet at all! How could something with Tom Hanks in it fly under my radar? Granted, I missed Cloud Atlas, but did anybody really miss Cloud Atlas?
Third, and most curious, is that Tom Hanks would voice a character already so popularly portrayed by a prominent actor in two other movies when he’s already voiced a character even more popularly portrayed in (soon to be) 4 other movies (not counting shorts). Kids are gonna get all sorts of confused! Just like I did when I realized while watching Disney’s Robin Hood that Little John was the same voice AND bear as Baloo in The Jungle Book! Oo-de-lally!
I think the idea of Sully getting his own film is an interesting concept, but it raises a lot of questions. Why isn’t John Goodman reprising the role? He’s not dead is he? Oh my god is John Goodman dead?! (just checked the internet…he’s alive…whew!). Well, if I was John Goodman I’d be piiiiiiiissed (see how that works?) at losing this gig. I know he’s not too busy with other projects. That’s not a knock on Goodman, but I saw 10 Cloverfield Lane and it made me wish for a Roseanne resurrection on Netflix.
So, why is Sully a pilot now? Was it a career move after losing his job? Is it a promotion to helm the flying duties of their corporate jet? Maybe that’s what he actually went to school for? I’m really hoping it’s not a crossover with Planes (like that now defunct idea to combine 21 Jump Street with Men in Black). And where’s Mike? I’d hate to think he and Sully had a falling out because I am all for having Billy Crystal in everything (go watch his TV series from last year called The Comedians).
Also, Eastwood is a strange choice to direct this genre. Sure, some of the dialogue in Gran Torino was funny, but it was mostly highly inappropriate. So why Eastwood? Maybe his great-great grandchildren (I’m assuming he has some) begged him to do it. Or perhaps it’s simply about the money. These films tend to be gold mines, so you can’t fault his thinking there.
In any case, Sully will remain a mystery to me as it seems to be the first errant move from one of Hollywood’s biggest powerhouse companies, and one I’d likely wait for on video.
**EDITOR’S NOTE: Sully is a live-action autobiographical film from Warner Bros. due out on September 9, 2016 and stars Tom Hanks as Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, a pilot for US Airways, who was forced to land an airliner into the Hudson River in 2009. Sully is not a film about the character Sully from Monsters Inc. and Monsters University.**
Macho Man impressionist. Known to drink your milkshake. Anti-dentite. Eventual Delorean owner.