Three Americans will star in Eastwood’s new film about attempted terror attack at French-Belgian border.
Three Americans who thwarted an attempted terrorist attack on a high-speed train near the Belgian-French border will play themselves in a film about the incident.
Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone will play themselves in the upcoming film “The 15:17 to Paris” after being cast by Clint Eastwood, the film’s director. The film is based on the book of the same name that they wrote about the incident.
In August 2015, 25-year-old Moroccan national Ayoub el-Khazani opened fire inside a train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris via Brussels.
Sadler, Skarlatos and Stone overpowered the suspected jihadist when he emerged from a passenger bathroom brandishing an AK-47 rifle. He was also armed with an automatic pistol and a box cutter.
A fourth man, Briton Chris Norman, also helped subdue el-Khazani. He has not been cast in the film.
Skarlatos is a U.S. National Guardsman and Stone was in the U.S. Air Force at the time. They were vacationing in Europe with their friend Sadler, a university student from California.
Although Stone received knife wounds in the struggle, no one was killed in the incident. In a ceremony attended by then French President François Hollande and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, France awarded the three Americans and the Briton the Legion of Honor, the nation’s highest award.
Eastwood has form when it comes to casting people in films about their lives. In his film “Sully” — which told the story of pilot Chesley Sullenberger landing a damaged plane on the Hudson River in 2009 — the pilot made a cameo appearance at the end of the film.