Plane is a 2023 American action thriller film directed by Jean-François Richet from a screenplay by Charles Cumming and J.P. Davis. The film stars Gerard Butler, Mike Colter, Yoson An, and Tony Goldwyn.
The plot centres on a pilot (Butler) allying with a prisoner (Colter) to save his passengers from a hostile territory they landed in for an emergency landing.
Plane was released in the United States on 13 January 2023. It received generally favourable reviews from critics and has grossed $41 million worldwide.
Also known as Mayday (Canada, French and France), Alerta Extrema, and The Plane (Italy).
Commercial pilot Brodie Torrance, a former RAF pilot, flies Trailblazer Airlines Flight 119 from Singapore to Honolulu via Tokyo. After his plane suffers damage from a storm in the South China Sea, he is forced to land his plane in what turns out to be Jolo island in the Philippines with the loss of a stewardess and an Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer, who is accompanying fugitive homicide suspect Louis Gaspare (a former member of the French Foreign Legion).
In New York City, the board of Trailblazer calls their crisis manager, Scarsdale. He dispatches a private military outfit to rescue the passengers, as the authorities are unwilling to send troops into the rebel-controlled island. Brodie goes off into the jungle to seek help, accompanied by Gaspare. At an abandoned warehouse, Brodie phones his superiors and daughter to tell their location, but is attacked by a rebel whom he subdues. They encounter a site used by the rebels to make ransom videos and race back to the plane, but are beaten to it by rebel leader Datu Junmar, who kills a Korean couple who try to escape and takes the surviving passengers and crew hostage, intending to secure large ransoms from their families.
After the group leaves, Brodie and Gaspare overpower remaining rebels and force them to reveal the location of their lair. Before leaving, Brodie leaves a note for rescue teams telling them what happened. At the rebel hideout, Brodie and Gaspare kill the hostages’ guards and sneak them onto a bus. Brodie decides to stay behind to distract the rebels. As he is about to be executed, the rescue team arrives, inflicting heavy casualties on Junmar’s men.
Back at the plane, Brodie and his copilot Samuel Dele manage to make the plane operational again and gather the hostages inside for takeoff as Scarsdale’s group and Gaspare fight off Junmar’s men. Gaspare chooses to stay behind to distract Junmar’s forces and allow Scarsdale’s team to board the plane, preventing an attempt by Junmar to blow up the plane with an RPG and later fleeing into the jungle with a bag of money brought by the mercenaries to pay for the hostages.
The plane is too damaged and too low on fuel to make a long journey, but Brodie manages to land the plane at the neighbouring island of Siasi, where they are finally rescued by government forces and where Brodie receives praise from the passengers and crew.
- Gerard Butler as Brodie Torrance, a commercial pilot
- Mike Colter as Louis Gaspare, a former GCP French Foreign Legion passenger being extradited on charges of homicide
- Yoson An as Samuel Dele, Torrance’s co-pilot
- Tony Goldwyn as Scarsdale, a former Special Forces officer who leads the rescue effort
- Daniella Pineda as Bonnie Lane, the head flight attendant
- Paul Ben-Victor as Terry Hampton, the owner of the airline
- Remi Adeleke as Shellback, a mercenary tasked with leading a rescue team
- Joey Slotnick as Matt Sinclair, a short-tempered businessman and one of the passengers
- Evan Dane Taylor as Datu Junmar, a local warlord and terrorist leader on Jolo
- Claro De Los Reyes as Hajan, Junmar’s right-hand man
- Kelly Gale as Katie Dhar, a Swedish passenger, and Brie’s friend and companion
- Lilly Krug as Brie Taylor, a passenger with a large following on social media
- Quinn McPherson as Riley Donahue, one of Trailblazers passengers.
On 13 July 2016, MadRiver Pictures acquired The Plane, an original pitch from novelist Charles Cumming, with Marc Butan and Di Bonaventura Pictures’ Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian announced as producers. In October 2019, it was reported that Gerard Butler had joined the cast and would also produce alongside Alan Siegel.
In November 2019, Lionsgate Films acquired distribution rights to the film, but in November 2020, it abandoned the project after failing to obtain production insurance that would cover a COVID-19 outbreak, as the studio did not want to risk the film’s original $50 million budget, and Solstice Studios acquired the rights to the film. However, in May 2021, Lionsgate re-acquired the rights to The Plane, in what Andreas Wiseman from Deadline Hollywood described as a “case of high-profile Hollywood volleyball.”
In August 2021, Kelly Gale, Mike Colter, Daniella Pineda, Yoson An, Remi Adeleke, Haleigh Hekking, Lilly Krug, Joey Slotnick, and Oliver Trevena joined the cast. Production began that same month in Puerto Rico. Michael Cho, Tim Lee, Gary Raskin, Alastair Burlingame, and Vicki Dee Rock were attached to the film as Executive Producers. On a podcast, Colter said the film was going to focus more on character development than action sequences. On 11 October 2021, it was reported that filming was close to finishing and that Tony Goldwyn and Paul Ben-Victor would also star.
The film was released in theatres in the United States on 13 January 2023, by Lionsgate. It was previously set for release on 27 January 2023.
As of 09 February 2023, Plane has grossed $29.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $12.3 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $41.9 million.
In the United States and Canada, Plane was released alongside House Party and the wide expansion of A Man Called Otto, and was projected to gross $07-10 million from 3,023 theatres in its opening weekend. The film made $3 million on its first day, including $435,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $10.2 million ($11.8 million over the four-day MLK weekend), finishing in fifth. The film made $5.3 million and $3.8 million in its second and third weekends, respectively.
- The film was announced in 2016, acquired by Lionsgate in 2019, sold to Solstice Studios in 2020, and re-acquired by Lionsgate in 2021. It was shot in Puerto Rico.
- The studio wanted a different title for the movie, but Gerard Butler insisted on keeping the title simple and went with “Plane”.
- Brodie Torrance leaves the cockpit to check on the passengers.
- In the post-9/11 world of sealed cockpit doors, this is absolutely never done.
- When characters talk on the radio, they are heard using the number “nine.”
- In aviation radio communications, however, this should always be pronounced as “niner” to avoid confusion with the similar sounding number “five.”
- As the plane enters the storm, Captain Torrance requests clearance to 40,000ft, but just prior to that, a shot of the altimeter already showed 40,000ft.
- As the plane takes off at the end of the movie, Torrance refuses to climb to 3000 feet, saying that the plane has no doors and therefore isn’t pressurised.
- In reality, air up to around 10,000 feet is breathable in an emergency.
- When a plane decompresses, pilots immediately descend to 10,000 feet for this reason.
- Therefore Torrance could have comfortably and safely climbed to 3000 feet.
- The exterior shots of the airplane are of a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series aircraft.
- The cabin shots are of the same plane but all of the Flight Deck ( cockpit ) shots are of an AirBus A320 series aircraft.
Production & Filming Details
- Jean-François Richet
- Emma Ago … co-producer
- Nik Bower … executive producer
- Alastair Burlingham … executive producer
- Marc Butan … producer (p.g.a.)
- Gerard Butler … producer
- Michael Cho … executive producer
- J.P. Davis … executive producer
- Vicki Dee Rock … executive producer
- Lorenzo di Bonaventura … producer
- Mathew Dunne … co-producer
- Edward Fee … executive producer
- Christian Gudegast … executive producer
- Daniel Kaslow … co-producer
- Tim Lee … executive producer
- Allen Liu … executive producer
- Deepak Nayar … executive producer
- Osita O … executive producer (as Osita Onugha)
- Gary Raskin … executive producer
- Danielle Robinson … co-producer
- Mimi Rode … associate producer
- Luillo Ruiz … producer
- Alan Siegel … producer (p.g.a.)
- Mark Vahradian … producer (p.g.a.)
- Charles Cumming … (screenplay by)
- J.P. Davis … (screenplay by)
- Charles Cumming … (story by)
- Marco Beltrami
- Marcus Trumpp
- Brendan Galvin … director of photography
- David Rosenbloom
- Di Bonaventura Pictures (production)
- Lionsgate (presents)
- MadRiver Pictures (production, in association with)
- Olive Hill Media (in association with)
- Riverstone Pictures
- Lionsgate (US and UK)
- Release Date: 11 January 2023 (Indonesia and Philippines), 13 January 2023 (US), and 27 January 2023 (UK).
- Running Time: 107 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.