Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

John Travolta Says He Was Offered 'Flight' But Didn't Like That The Plane Flew Upside Down

by Kevin Jagernauth
July 8, 2013 2:18 PM
  • |

It was certainly one of the more eye-popping moments from any of the awards season films last year. In "Flight," a hungover, disheveled airline pilot, played by Denzel Washington, is suddenly forced to crash land his plane while saving as many people as he can. So, what does he do? He flies the damn thing upside down (a scientific reason why this is plausible is given in the movie, but we forget what it is now) and lo and behold, he's able to spin back around, and gracefully (as possible) touch down behind a church (symbolism or something). It was a pretty heart-stopping sequence, but it turns out, one actor thought it wasn't quite up to par.

John Travolta, a trained and practicing pilot himself, recently chatted with Contactmusic and revealed he was offered "Flight," but had some issues with the big show-stopping sequence. "The funny thing was it was written for me. But it was not written well enough yet—the plane stuff, not the character. I loved that he was an alcoholic and I loved his journey a lot. But the plane stuff was silly, from my perspective," the actor said. "Flying upside down—it’s a bit much. I just wanted those bits to get redone. I asked the writer, ‘Did you not ask a professional or someone who knew something?’ And he said, ‘I didn’t want any interference—I just wanted the screenplay done. To hell with that stuff!'"

We'd guess that Travolta's definition of "silly" is malleable or at least doesn't apply to the facial hair he's wearing in the upcoming "Killing Season" with Robert De Niro. Or maybe that script is miraculously better than "Flight." Suffice it to say that perhaps everyone wins in the end since Travolta ultimately didn't wind up doing that movie. [via FilmDrunk]

  • |

More: Flight, John Travolta

Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    


  • Piotr | July 9, 2013 11:44 PMReply

    Travolta went on to add, "I ultimately didn't accept the role because they refused to write a scene wherein a young Cuban massage parlour boy touched the pilot's pee-pee repeatedly."

  • Ben | July 9, 2013 6:32 AMReply

    "The funny thing was it was written for me."
    Who the fuck would do that? Squandered every scrap of credibility clawed back since Pulp Fiction and still appears to be entirely oblivious of this fact.

  • bonzob | July 8, 2013 6:23 PMReply

    According to this Movieline interview with the writer (, he did do research, he did talk to pilots, and the crash was based on an actual accident in which a plane really did fly inverted:

    "There are a couple of accidents that it was based on. But there was a crash off Oxnard, CA in 2000. A pilot told me to look at that and it was fascinating. Air traffic control asked them to take the plane out over [Santa Monica Bay] so as to limit collateral damage on the ground. And they did fly it inverted but they put the plane back over and lost control. It was an un-flyable plane, it wasn't their fault. They did an amazing job. And this pilot said that had they known what was really wrong with the plane, they might have known their only recourse was to keep it inverted and descend. It was really rough."

  • genoblu | February 24, 2014 11:53 PM

    The sequence was preposterous. There was an actual accident where the jack screw failed on the horizontal stabilizer. The aircraft flew inverted and crashed into the pacific ocean. Alaska Airlines Flt 261. The pilots had little control over the aircraft. The crash in this movie was hollywood make believe as was much of the rest of the movie. The Airport movies were more believable - like an airplane acting as a submarine or opening a cockpit window of a concord and shooting a flare to avoid a missile strike. Take hollywood for what it is - all make believe fantasy.

  • J | July 8, 2013 5:13 PMReply

    I think John Gatins might have a thing or two to say about the inference that he does no research... I'm not sure that's the case.

  • dan | July 8, 2013 5:10 PMReply

    yeah i missed battlefield earth i couldnt understand how that one went upside down either

  • Toss | July 8, 2013 3:58 PMReply

    I remember walking out of Flight and thinking the only person other than Denzel Washington who could have pulled that role off would be a pre-breakdown Mel Gibson. It's a film that requires a star who can remain deeply charismatic while going incredibly raw, something I highly doubt Travolta is capable of nowadays.

  • CB | July 8, 2013 2:59 PMReply

    Am I the only one that miss misses seeing Travolt in quality films? Quentin?

Email Updates