24 Frames reports that Denzel Washington will star in the airborne film, "Flight," with Zemeckis in the pilot's seat. The project first cropped up over a month ago with both names linked but it now appears to have firmed up. Written by John Gatins (”Coach Carter,” “Real Steel” which Zemeckis happens to be producing) the story follows a commercial airline pilot unfortunately named Whip Whitaker (Washington), who is labeled a hero after he successfully lands his plane full of passengers after a malfunction on board. However, an investigation turns up the fact that he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol while flying, as he struggles with the hero status he now must wear, and the pilot’s union and airline keep the truth under wraps to prevent a scandal.
Deals and schedules still need to ironed out but it's expected that everything will come together for "Flight" and it will shoot this fall. But, this will be a bit of bummer for some Zemeckis fans. The forever-in-development 'Roger Rabbit' sequel "The Animated American" remains on hold. And as for that sci-fi project "Replay" he was attached to back in April, that one will have to wait as well.
"Flight" sounds like some great material for both the director and actor who have been doing a lot of lesser fare of late (particulary Washington who seems to be in a rut of starring in pulpy action movies). No release dates, but this seems like a strong candidate for an Oscar season 2012 release.