In 2015 three Americans made headlines around the world when they halted an armed attack on a train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris. Now Clint Eastwood has made a film of the story – although as much about the three growing up together as about the violent attack itself.

It was only three weeks before the first day of shooting for The 15:17 to Paris that the three young men at its centre realised the movie-making proposition had just changed radically.

Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos had been thrilled when Clint Eastwood bought the rights to their book about the events on a Thalys high speed train in northern France in August 2015.

The friends had spoken at length with the film-maker about their schooldays in Sacramento, California. Eastwood and his team had also plotted every detail of how they stopped the Moroccan Ayoub El-Khazzani after he emerged from a toilet on the train carrying an assault rifle and a pistol with which he shot a passenger in the back.

French prosecutors later said the gunman had boarded the train with the rifle, 270 rounds of ammunition, a pistol, a bottle of petrol and a hammer. It’s remarkable that no one died in the incident.

“But one or two things Mr Eastwood said had us looking at each other. We said, so are you suggesting we should be in the picture? And Mr Eastwood said ‘Sure, why not?'”

Stone, Sadler and Skarlatos all dislike being labelled heroes. So it’s ironic that the movie came about because Eastwood, now 87, gave them an award for heroism.

(Excerpt) Read More @: BBC

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