The pic centers around the real-life heroes who derailed a terrorist attack during a highspeed train ride. The announcement was made today by Sue Kroll, President of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
Many have speculated that the Eastwood title would make its way into this year’s Oscar season, but that is yet to be determined. Warner Bros. premiered a wet print of American Sniper at AFI on Nov. 11, 2014 before its limited Christmas release. The movie went wide during MLK weekend 2015 and racked up the filmmaker’s highest grossing opening and film of all time respectively with $107.2M, $350M domestic and $547.7M worldwide. American Sniper received six Oscar nominations, including best picture, and won in the sound editing category. Still TBD whether we’ll see a cut of The 15:17 to Paris in a few weeks at AFI. The pic’s release date comes about a month prior to the Oscars and 16 days after Oscar nominations next year. On that Feb. 9 date, The 15:17 to Paris will share the marquee with Sony Animation’s Peter Rabbit, Entertainment Studios’ The Hurricane Heist and Universal’s Fifty Shades Freed.
Kroll stated, “Clint Eastwood is one of our most prolific and enduring filmmakers and we are thrilled to continue our longtime collaboration with him as we bring his next film to the screen. This is both a touching story of three lifelong friends and a compelling tale of patriotism and heroism, and we felt this would be a great window for audiences everywhere to experience this uplifting true story.”
In the early evening of August 21, 2015, the world watched in stunned silence as the media reported a thwarted terrorist attack on Thalys train #9364 bound for Paris—an attempt prevented by three courageous young Americans traveling through Europe. The 15:17 to Paris follows the course of the friends’ lives, from the struggles of childhood through finding their footing in life, to the series of unlikely events leading up to the attack. Throughout the harrowing ordeal, their friendship never wavers, making it their greatest weapon and allowing them to save the lives of the more than 500 passengers on board.
Eastwood literally cast the heroic trio in the film as themselves: Anthony Sadler, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, and U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone. Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer and Ray Corasani also star. Paul-Mikél Williams plays the younger Anthony; Bryce Gheisar plays the younger Alek; and William Jennings takes on the role of the younger Spencer.
Screenwriter Dorothy Blyskal adapted from the book The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes by Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Jeffrey E. Stern. Eastwood also produced the film, along with Tim Moore, Kristina Rivera and Jessica Meier. The film’s executive producer is Bruce Berman.