Sully: Does Your Movie Need An Antagonist? (ISA Sponsored)

Posted: Sep 24, 2016 Hosted By: Jacob Krueger

Sully is an example of a really good script, by a really good writer, that doesn't tell a really good story.

Sully is trying to do something very, very difficult: a film adaptation of a real man's life. It's trying to find drama in a situation that is inherently internal.


The first mistake Sully makes is failing to trust its own source material. As several recent articles point out, the persecution of Sully by the airlines, which forms the central premise of this story, never actually occurred. It was completely made up by Clint Eastwood, who insisted the movie needed "an antagonist," and failing to find one, made one up.


Movies are like life, and the best movies draw their inspiration from life. As useful as the idea of an antagonist may seem, thinking about characters in this way is only going to draw you away from the truth of your story. It's going to lead you to the kind of mustache twirling villain we see in Sully, rather than the fully drawn characters we experience in real life.