Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a commercial airline pilot who saves the lives of more than one hundred passengers with a spectacular, seemingly impossible crash-landing. He's hailed as a hero, but in the wake of the near-disaster, questions arise as to his character and the circumstances behind his plane's failure. The plane sequence itself, peppered throughout the trailer, looks like a showcase for Zemeckis' technical acumen, while the actual meat of the film looks compellingly shaded gray.
Watch the trailer below or check out the high definition version over at Apple, where it debuted, along with the poster and still that you can find at the bottom of this page.
After twelve years in the motion-capture business, this is Zemeckis' first live-action film since Cast Away. For years, Zemeckis seemed to have a mainline to the American zeitgeist. Massive hits like Forrest Gump, the Back to the Future films, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Cast Away showed his ability to create films that aren't merely commercial successes, but that become a part of the culture in a huge way. Always a director keenly aware of technology and its possibilities, Zemeckis ditched live-action to explore the viability of motion-capture with The Polar Express, Beowulf, and A Christmas Carol.
Despite his years spent in the format, it would be James Cameron's Avatar that used the tech to greatest success. The director was working on a motion-capture version of The Beatles' Yellow Submarine last year, when Disney put the kibosh on the expensive project, leading him to Flight.
Oscar-winner Denzel Washington anchors Flight, but the supporting cast also abounds with ringers. John Goodman steps away from the air conditioning repair annex for a role, while Don Cheadle play's Whitaker's lawyer. Bruce Greenwood also shows up, as do James Badge Dale, Melissa Leo, and Kelly Reilly. Whitaker's pilot is seen briefly in the trailer, and it's a nigh-unrecognizable Brian Geraghty, most familiar from The Hurt Locker.
The film arrives in theaters on November 2nd.