Gerard Butler knows exactly what kind of movie Plane is, and he’s proud of it. “I love making this kind of movie, and I feel like I’ve become quite known for it,” he tells Consequence. “I remember Robert Downey Jr., when he saw Olympus Has Fallen, he wrote me a beautiful email and he said, ‘This is the kind of movie that we miss so much, when the audiences are cheering, they’re throwing stuff at the screen, they’re shouting.’ And that’s what [Plane] is. It’s an experience.”
Directed by Jean-François Richet, the film stars Butler as Captain Brodie Torrance, who’s looking forward to a quiet New Year’s Eve flight to Tokyo when technical issues force him to land on a remote Philippines island controlled by a violent militia. Not only that, but one of the plane’s passengers is the mysterious Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), a fugitive from justice who’s not interested in being caught again by the authorities.
Can Brodie and Louis get their people off that island safely? It’s the simple question at the center of the film, one Butler and Colter both refer to as “a throwback from the ’90s.”
As Butler adds, “I’ve been to many screenings now and I’ve seen how the audience responds. And it really has it all. It has disaster. It has action, it has survival elements. It’s very funny, and it’s very moving, and it has complex characters that are human, that make mistakes. And that’s somebody that’s very relatable for the audience. So it just felt like something where we could really take the audience on a joy ride and have them on the edge of their seats. And that’s the response we’ve been getting.”
Theater audiences are already enjoying the trailer for Plane, especially thanks to the way it ultimately reveals the film’s title — one which stands out for its simplicity. But it could have been a little less simple.
Butler says that the title of the film was Plane during the two years of development that preceded its making, but then “when we started filming, suddenly on the script [and the call sheet] it said The Plane. And I never really thought anything about it, but then when we came to actually release it, there was talk of changing the title and I said, I’m happy to change it to Plane. I don’t love THE Plane, and I don’t want to change it to anything else.”