Clint Eastwood has signed up to direct the big screen adaptation of The 15:17 To Paris, a true-life tale about the three Americans who subdued an ISIS terrorist on a train from Amsterdam to Paris in 2015. While part of Clint Eastwood’s early film fame came with playing iconic characters like The Man With No Name for legendary director Sergio Leone, it didn’t take long for the actor to step behind the camera to assume dual roles, starring in and directing such classics as High Plains Drifter and the fourth Dirty Harry movie Sudden Impact. He’s proven to be an exceptional filmmaker, winning four Oscars over the course of his storied career.
Since 2014, Eastwood has taken the route of directing films about American heroes, starting with Best Picture Oscar nominee American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper as late, prolific military sniper Chris Kyle. Last year, Eastwood directed star Tom Hanks in the smash hit Sully, which chronicled Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s miracle landing of US Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River in New York City in 2009, saving all 155 people onboard. Now, he’s decided on his next fact-based story of heroics.
According to Deadline, Eastwood’s sights are now set on adapting The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes, written by the three men who thwarted the August 21, 2015, attack: Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone, Army National Guard Specialist Alek Skarlatos, and their friend, Anthony Sadler. The screenplay for the book, also written by Jeffery E. Stern, is being adapted by first-time writer Dorothy Blyskal (a staff assistant on Sully). The 15:17 to Paris will reportedly start casting right away and is expected to begin production at Warner Bros. in the fall.
Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler became instant heroes in 2015 when they tackled and subdued the ISIS terrorist on the Paris-bound train, which had 554 passengers onboard. Armed with an AK-47, the gunman reportedly had enough ammunition on him to kill more than 500 people. Stone, who was slashed by the terrorist, was one of the handful of people injured in the attack, which had no fatalities.
With Eastwood’s track record of late, there’s no arguing he’s the perfect filmmaker to direct The 15:17 to Paris. And while American Sniper featured more of a sprawling narrative, Eastwood’s expert storytelling sensibilities on Sully showed how he could tell a compelling tale from different vantage points about an event that from start to finish lasted a mere 208 seconds. The story of Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler no doubt unfolded quickly on the train to Paris in 2015, and it’s all but a sure bet that Eastwood, like he has so many times before, will take the right amount of time to do the story justice.
15:17 to Paris has no release date as of this writing. We’ll keep you updated on the latest information.