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Robert Zemeckis Circling Paramount's 'Flight'

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Apr 21, 2011 | 6:58am EDT

Robert ZemeckisAfter a rough couple of weeks in which Robert Zemeckis' most recent production tanked at the box office and had his upcoming remake of Yellow Submarine canceled, the Oscar winning filmmaker is taking note of these debacles and will finally contemplate a return to live-action projects. Deadline reports that he's in talks with Paramount Pictures to helm Flight, a character study revolving around a commercial airline pilot named Whip Whitaker whose plane almost crashes but is saved thanks to his heroic skills. Instantly hailed as a hero, an investigation into the cause of the incident reveals that he was flying under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The story then follows the pilot's journey as he is encouraged to embrace his new reputation that he thinks he doesn't deserve, all while the pilot's union and airline try to keep the facts under cover because of the high stakes involved.

John Gatins, who wrote the Zemeckis-produced Real Steel (and was just hired to script a sequel to the October release), penned the screenplay and wanted to direct, but now that the man behind Forrest Gump and Contact is interested in the project Paramount is hotly pursuing him. Denzel Washington is loosely attached to play the pilot, and I'd be very interested to see the two-time Oscar-winner return to more grounded fare (I don't know about you, but if I see another Tony Scott/Denzel Washington collaboration I'll probably throw myself in front of one of the trains at the center of their last two films). Likewise, this would be the first time that Zemeckis would step on a physical set in a decade after helming performance-capture pictures like The Polar Express and Beowulf; an enticing prospect in and of itself.

Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are producing. A decision is expected soon as the studio hopes to begin filming later this year for a possible late 2012 release.

Source: Deadline

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