By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist September 22, 2011 at 1:01AM
Steven Soderbergh says something on the "Out of Sight" DVD commentary that few would disagree with: "If you can put Don Cheadle in your movie, you should put Don Cheadle in your movie." He's been true to his word, going on to cast the great actor in "Traffic" and three "Ocean's Eleven" movies, and Cheadle's livened up plenty of other projects as well, from his Oscar-nominated turn in "Hotel Rwanda" to, most recently, playing straight man to Brendan Gleeson in "The Guard." Hell, he was even brilliant as Captain Planet. Now, Robert Zemeckis has taken the tip, as Cheadle, along with another stalwart character actor, seems to have come on board the latest from the "Back to the Future" director.
Moviehole bring news that Cheadle and "Star Trek" star Bruce Greenwood have joined Denzel Washington and Kelly Reilly in "Flight," the drama that marks Zemeckis' first live-action picture in over a decade, after a mostly disappointing sojourn into performance-capture animation. Washington plays a pilot who successfully lands a damaged plane, and is anointed as a hero, only for suspicions to emerge that he may have been drunk behind the controls, while Reilly plays a drug addict who befriends his character.
There's no word on who the new additions are playing, but we're certainly excited to see Cheadle and Washington team up for the first time since "Devil In A Blue Dress" -- Cheadle's firecracker performance in Carl Franklin's undervalued noir launched his career, and we still dream of an alternate universe where a whole franchise of movies, starring the pair as Easy Rawlins and Mouse Alexander, was made. Greenwood's terrific as well, although he rarely gets to play parts that really show his talents (check out "I'm Not There" and the recent "Meek's Cutoff" for two of the better, more atypical performances by the actor).
Zemeckis is certainly attracting a strong cast for his return to movies about real people, and if the script can stay away from cliche and sentimentality (and the premise is certainly a potent one), this could be something to get properly excited about. Filming starts soon, and it's likely to land in theaters for the 2012 awards season.