Clint Eastwood is 87 years old and he’s still going strong. His latest film, “The 15:17 to Paris”, opens this weekend. It’s the third in a trio of biopic dramas depicting recent real-life events, following 2014’s “American Sniper” and 2016’s “Sully”.
“Sniper”, starring Bradley Cooper as U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, was the highest-grossing film of 2014, earning $350 million in the U.S., and it was nominated for 6 Oscars (with a Sound Editing win). Eastwood should’ve been on the Best Director ballot. And “Sully”, starring Tom Hanks as “Miracle on the Hudson” airplane pilot Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenburger, was up for the Sound Editing Oscar and earned Critics Choice Awards nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor, along with $125 million at the U.S. Box Office.
The stars of “15:17” are unique. They’re the three men who experienced the 2015 train attack that is portrayed in the film: Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone. The men play themselves in what must’ve been a surreal, emotional experience.
This casting choice is another interesting one for Eastwood. After attending a performance of “Jersey Boys” on Broadway, Eastwood went backstage and asked Tony winner John Lloyd Young, who originated the role of Frankie Valli and reprised him years later, to play Frankie in the movie.
When it comes to staying in the public, moviemaking eye, Eastwood has been pretty consistent. All but three of his films since 1976 have been distributed by Warner Bros. And he’s a rare director to release multiple movies per year on multiple occasions:
1982 – “Firefox” and “Honky Tonk Man”
1990 – “White Hunter, Black Heart” and “The Rookie”
1997 – “Absolute Power” and “Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil”
2006 – “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima”
2008 – “Changeling” and “Gran Torino”
2014 – “Jersey Boys” and “American Sniper”
Eastwood’s follow-up to “15:17” hasn’t been announced yet, but it could easily be another recent true-story biopic/drama with Warner Bros. attached.