Military and Police

With Clint Eastwood’s Newest Project, Real Life Comes To Film

Eastwood casts real life heroes in newest film project…

In what I personally think is an outstanding move, Clint Eastwood has reached out and signed the three true life heroes to play themselves in his newest movie project.  Eastwood signed Anthony Sadler, Alex Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone to play themselves in the movie “The 15:17 to Paris”.  The 15:17 to Paris is the train where the three Americans stopped a terrorist attack

A heavily gunman has opened fire on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris before being overpowered by three US citizens, two of whom were American servicemembers.  The shooting happened just before 6 pm in the last carriage of the train, which was carrying 554 passengers.  The man had several weapons in his luggage, including a Kalashnikov, an automatic pistol, and razor blades.

“We heard a gunshot, and we heard glass breaking behind us and saw a train employee sprint past us down the aisle,” Sadler said.  The trio then saw a gunman entering the carriage with an automatic rifle, he added.

“As he was cocking it to shoot it, Alek just yells: ‘Spencer, go!’ and Spencer runs down the aisle,” Sadler said.  “Spencer makes the first contact, he tackles the guy, Alek wrestles the gun away from him, and the gunman pulls out a box cutter and slices Spencer a few times.  And the three of us beat him until he was unconscious.”

Sadler later said the gunman had demanded his weapon back.  “He was just telling us to give back his gun.  Give me back my gun! Give me back my gun!’ But we just carried on beating him up and immobilized him, and that was it.”

Eastwood began a wide-ranging search for the actors who would portray the three Americans.  It seemed the studio and Eastwood had their choices but at a last-minute decision Eastwood announced he had decided to have Sadler, Skarlatos and Stone portray themselves.

The film is based on the book of the same name by Sadler, Skarlatos, Stone.  Dorothy Blyskal will write the script.  Eastwood will produce with Tim Moore, Kristina Rivera, and Jessica Meier.  Warner Bros. will distribute, as will Village Roadshow Pictures (who will also co-finance) in select territories.

The film falls in line with Eastwood’s recent interest in real-life heroes following “American Sniper” and “Sully,” both of which were two of his biggest box office hits.

Eastwood bringing these stories to the screen is a testament to the real heroes of our day.  With his last two box office hits “American Sniper,” the story of Navy Seal Chris Kyle and “Sully,” the story of Chesley Sullenberger landing the United Airlines Airbus 320 on the Hudson River saving all on board, “The 15:17 to Paris” is sure to follow in their footsteps.

Besides the film being an Eastwood film, which in my mind always means it will be good, this particular story has a real personal connection.  My wife regularly took that same train between Amsterdam and Paris.  She has ridden it many many times.  She was not there when this happened but could have been.

Jon Harris

Jon Harris is a Senior OpsLens Contributor and former Army NCO, Sergeant Morales Club member, civilian law enforcement officer, and defense contractor with over 30 years in the law enforcement community. He is published in Army Trainer Magazine, authored regular columns in several newspapers, and is the author of the Cold War novel Breakpoint. His adventures as a security contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq can be found on He holds a B.S. in Government and Politics and an M.S. in Criminal Justice and is currently completing his Juris Doctor degree.

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