ORIGINS: “In 2006, John Gatins asked us to read 40 pages of his original script, which is all he had written,” Parkes says. “While John wasn’t really sure where it was going, the sequence of Captain Whitaker landing an impossibly broken plane while drunk was as extraordinary a first act of a script as we had ever read.”

FUNDING: “It was less a hunt for backers than the challenge of attaching elements that demanded the film be made — and then making the film under very strict financial limitations.”

HIGH HURDLES: “Finding the right actor and director, and then agreeing to make the film for what seemed like an impossible price.”

DOMINO EFFECT: “I got a call from the late great agent Ed Limato, who predicted that Denzel would love the part. He was right. Six weeks later we found ourselves sitting at a restaurant in New York with Denzel; by the end of lunch, he was in.”

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