Who Could Play Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger in Clint Eastwood's Film?

Eastwood Sullenberger - H 2015
AP Images

Eastwood Sullenberger - H 2015

Which silver-haired actor could play the part of the heroic captain, who ditched U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009?

It's time for Clint Eastwood to cast another hero.

His next directorial project will take on the story of Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who in 2009 ditched U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, saving the lives of all those on board.

But who should play him?

Physically, Sullenberger is known for his white hair and mustache. Age can also provide a guide: he was just shy of his 58th birthday when the heroic landing happened.

Here's a list of possibilities for the man who could play the pilot dubbed Captain Cool. Note that this is strictly based on their look and experience, and the men are not necessarily who Warner Bros. has in mind.

Harrison Ford

Ford is a real-life pilot who had his own brush with airplane heroics when he recently crash-landed a plane on a golf course after experiencing engine failure. Ford is also the one who introduced Sullenberger to Frank Marshall, one of the film's producers. Though at 72, he may be out of the preferred age range.

Tom Hanks

Hanks, 58, has already earned acclaim for playing a real-life captain in Captain Phillips, which was also based on a heroic tale from 2009.

John Slattery

How better to follow up a successful run on Mad Men than to step into an Eastwood film? Slattery, 52, has the silver hair down and already has shown he looks good in classic clothing like a uniform. On the other hand, he doesn't have the big screen leading man caché of other contenders.


Pierce Brosnan

Brosnan, 62, is a perennial favorite on Hollywood's silver fox list. Though he might bring a little too much sex appeal to the role.

Richard Dreyfuss

Dreyfus has defied death onscreen in Jaws and certainly has the mustache for the part, though at 67 he may be a little outside of the age range.

Richard Gere

Gere, 65, has already played a pilot in the 1982 hit An Officer and a Gentleman. This role could be a nice bookend to playing young Aviation Officer Candidate School trainee Zack Mayo. Oh, and silver hair? Check.

Hugh Laurie

Laurie, 55, dealt with life and death situations for eight seasons on House as the misanthropic Dr. Gregory House.   

Billy Bob Thornton

Thornton, 59, played the ultimate bad guy in FX's Fargo, winning a Golden Globe for the chilling performance of Lorne Malvo. Perhaps it's time for him to switch gears and play a good guy. 

Who is your pick? Sound off in the comments.