“Flight,” a 2012 movie directed by Robert Zemeckis, tells the story of a pilot named Whip Whitaker who successfully lands a plane with few injuries, even though it looks like it is going to crash.
Even though he did something brave, he is under scrutiny when an investigation questions whether or not he was drunk during the trip. The movie’s plot is based on the complexity of its main character, using this significant event as a starting point.
The way Whitaker is acted out makes you wonder if he is based on a real person and if the plane crash shown in the movie really happened. If you’ve been thinking the same thing and want to know more about where the movie came from, we’ve got you covered.
What is The Movie “Flight” About?
SouthJet flight Captain Whip Whitaker, who drinks and does drugs, is the main character of the story. Denzel Washington, who plays Whip Whitaker, also learned to fly for the part. He flew with real pilots to get a better idea of how they act and to learn how to handle a dangerous situation.
One morning, after a sleepless night, he snorts cocaine to wake up so he can get on SouthJet Flight 227 from Orlando to Atlanta during a rainstorm. When the plane takes off, there is a lot of shaking because of the storm. The flight seems to be going well, but in the middle of the air, a problem with the plane causes it to drop very quickly.
Is Flight Based on a True Story?
No, ‘Flight’ is not based on a real story. Whip Whitaker is also a made-up captain. Even so, some parts of the movie are based on real-life events. John Gatins wrote the original script for the movie. He got the idea for the movie while he was on a flight. He was on a flight from Frankfurt, Germany, to New York City when he started talking to the man next to him.
He turned out to be a pilot who was off duty, and Gatins learned from hearing him talk that pilots are just like everyone else and have troubles like everyone else. It was a little scary to think that he and the other riders had put their lives in the hands of someone they didn’t know. “I want pilots who would take a bullet to get me from here to JFK. Gatins told the LA Times, “And here was this guy who could show that he wasn’t a god.”
Gatins got the idea for a story about a pilot with a bad personality and iffy morals after he met this person. The crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 in 2000 gave him ideas for the first part of his show. The cause of Flight 261’s crash was found to be a loose jackscrew that caused the plane to fall while it was in the air.
In order to keep it from falling, the pilot, Ted Thompson, and the first officer, Bill Tansky, flew it upside down. They hoped that this would make the flight more stable. They did not succeed like Whip Whitaker did in the movie. Instead, the plane crashed in the Pacific, killing everyone on board.
Even the hero of a movie wouldn’t want to fly the plane upside down, so Gatins tried to get the details of the movie and the talks around it from real life. A lot of the conversation in the scene came from the tapes of Flight 261.
When Robert Zemeckis was hired to direct the movie, he brought his own style and the understanding that comes from being a pilot for a long time. Real pilots and experts were brought in to talk about the technical details of the situation so that the movie could be as real as possible.
How Did Denzel Washington Prepare Himself for the Movie?
Denzel Washington also learned how to fly so he could play the part of Whip Whitaker. He learned from real pilots to get a better idea of how they act and how they stay in charge when things are going wrong.
Additionally, he listened to a number of cockpit tapes, including the one from US Airways Flight 1549, which the well-known Chesley Sullenberger took over and whose story served as the basis for the 2016 film “Sully.” Before the plane crashes on the runway in “Flight,” Whitaker says quietly, “Get ready for impact.” This line comes straight from Sullenberger’s story.
Aside from the plane crash, Whitaker’s fight against drinking is an important part of his life. Even when his whole job and life are on the line because of his addiction, he can’t handle it and won’t get help, even though he has been offered it many times.
Psychology Today says that the way his fight has been shown is very true to life. In the same way that Whitaker is trying to fight his addiction, Nicole (played by Kelly Reilly) is trying to leave drugs in the past. This makes their ways of dealing with issues even more different.
Taking all of this into account, it is safe to say that “Flight” is not based on a true story, but it is close to being realistic, especially in how it portrays its characters. Even though it is fantasy, it tries to be as close to the truth as possible and mostly succeeds.