Clint Eastwood defends scenes of planes crashing into skyscrapers in Sully, due out 9/11 anniversary weekend

The film tells the true story of pilot Chesley Sullenberger and his famous Hudson River landing

Clint Eastwood has defended scenes of passenger planes crashing into New York skyscrapers in his new movie Sully, which hits cinemas over the 9/11 anniversary weekend.

The Oscar-winning director explained at the drama’s premiere that the sequences were designed to show “what could have happened” had US pilot Chesley Sullenberger not successfully landed his plane in the Hudson River in January 2009, saving the lives of all 155 people on board after a flock of geese disabled the engines.

“It’s just a bad dream sequence and what could have happened if he didn’t make the right decision,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “The spirit it gave back the city, even though it was a tragic loss of a plane, there was no tragic loss of life.”


Screenwriter Todd Komarnicki added that Sully, which stars Tom Hanks in the lead, is the “inverted story of 9/11” and that by featuring scenes that remind Americans of the 2001 terrorist atrocity, it “reclaims the narrative laid on [them] by people who are enemies of [their] country”.

Eastwood and Komarnikci have dismissed the timing of Sully’s release as “totally coincidental” as a result of Imax screens being full over the summer and occupied by Star Wars at Christmas.

Sully arrives in the UK on 2 December.

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