Warner Bros. released on Wednesday the first look at the film, revealing Hanks’ drastic transformation into the white-haired, mustachioed airline captain.
The biodrama chronicles the life of the famed US Airways pilot who made an emergency landing on the Hudson River in 2009, saving all 155 passengers on board. Hank’s co-star Aaron Eckhart told People that the two-time Oscar winner “embraced the role in every way.”
“He really embodied him, and obviously spent a lot of time with Sully, and just physically with his hair, and the mustache,” Eckhart said. “He started holding himself straight like Sully did, and his economy of speech, and all of that sort of stuff that really nailed the precision of Captain Sullenberger. It was really impressive.”
The real-life Sully often visited the Warner Bros. Studio set. An Airbus A320 was disassembled and transported to a pool on set, which Eckhart said “blew us away.” Parts of the film was also shot at the crash site using “actual boats that were used in the rescue on the Hudson” and “a lot of the same people who were all there.”
To prepare for the film, Eckhart said he and Hanks practiced on a simulator of the Airbus A320 “to capture the emotions and pressure of the fateful flight.”
“For simulation we had the exact flight pattern mapped out on the simulator as they flew on that particular flight, and that was interesting because you get up in the air, you’re 3,000 feet or whatever it is, and you have three minutes to figure out what will happen and then to troubleshoot it and then to land the plane and make the decision to land on the Hudson, that’s not a lot of time,” he said.
“Sully” hits theaters on Sept. 9.