As you’ve surely heard, Hudson River hero Captain Sully has been awarded the ultimate American prize: a movie deal. You know how sometimes people ask you “who would you want to play you in a movie?” Well, Sully is full-on asking himself that question for real.
We were discussing the movie and came up with one irrefutable problem: landing a plane in the Hudson River, while certainly impressive, does not a 90-minute film make. In fact, our resident pilot Kent Wien published a hilarious story just last month on what is surely the crux of the plot: avoiding the birds. Trying, then failing to avoid birds doesn’t really sound like a feature-length story, does it? Kent’s idea was to try and film it from the birds’ perspective, “Sort of like Jonathan Livingston Seagull but with a tragic ending.”
That would work, but it doesn’t make a hero out of Sully, and that is surely the point. We have faith that the masterminds in Hollywood can make a whopping three hours out of it if they put their hearts into it.
In case they have any trouble, though, here are some ideas.
Top 10 ways Hollywood could make Sully’s movie more kickass:
1. An epic bloody bird bonanza.
The moment the birds hit the engine is key. We’d like to see this achieved on a billion-YouTube-hits, Texas Chainsaw Massacre level. You know what would make it even better? Two words: 3. D.
This will be a hero movie, and every hero movie needs a power ballad. Perhaps Aerosmith could simultaneously release a music video of themselves headbanging and playing the song spliced with clips of the aforementioned bloody bird bonanza. Suggested title: What Goes Up Must Come Down.3. Emotional foreshadowing from friends and family.
Foreshadowing is essential to this genre of film, and pretty much all dialogue leading up the disaster should have enormously foreboding ramifications. We’re talking teenagers yelling “I never want to see you again!” and wives saying “I still get nervous every time you fly. Every time.” Bonus points if they have a pet bird that won’t shut the hell up.
4. Birds. Everywhere.
Another important foreshadowing element is the presence of birds in everyday life. Not only should there be a pet bird in Captain Sully’s home, but we’d like to see at least one avian actor in every shot. In the best case scenario, the birds would all be looking at him, all the time, Hitchcock-style.
5. Teaser in-flight malfunctions.
The flight is doomed from the start and everyone knows it, so there should be plenty of nefarious bumps and turbulence-related accidents leading up to the actual bird massacre.
6. The moment someone realizes the plane’s going down and gravely says “It’s birds.”
Picture this: no one can figure out what the problem is until a flight attendant sees blood spattered on the windows toward the rear of the plane. She walks briskly to the cockpit and bursts through the door. “Captain Sully,” she says, with the weight of the world in her eyes, “It’s birds.” Did this really happen? Definitely not. Does it matter? Definitely not.
7. Samuel L. Jackson rescues the hell out of everybody.
Truth: the plane landed in the water and a ferry going by helped the passengers to safety. Obviously, the main ferry passenger leading this effort should be played by Samuel L. Jackson, who specializes in ridiculous airplane films. If he’s busy, they should get Leonardo DiCaprio, who should at some point reach his hand out to a frightened woman and say, “Do you trust me?”
8. An arguing couple on the flight falls back in love.
To illustrate the point that all arguments seem petty in the face of danger, there should be a loud, arguing couple on the flight. By the time they are being ferried to safety, they should definitely be making out. This is Screenwriting 101.
9. The plane explodes.
In true blockbuster fashion, the story must end with a bang. We see this being best achieved by the plane exploding, preferably seconds after the final passenger disembarks — with her baby.
10. The hint of a sequel.
What? A sequel? That’s right. All good movies hint at a sequel*. Hudson River 2: The Reckoning (or whatever it’s called) should be hinted at by the glint in the eye of a nearby bird who just watched his broheim slaughtered. Can they get the bird to cry a tear? We hope so.
[Photo by Sebastian Derungs - Pool/Getty Images.]