In 2010, the late Tony Scott embarked on the production of “Unstoppable” with Denzel Washington and Chris Pine. But did you know that this account of this driverless train was based on a true story?
Unstoppable : Tony Scott and the trains
Tony Scott, Ridley Scott’s little brother, died in 2012, is a regular at train movies. After Subway Attack 123, here he is at the realization of Unstoppable, another railway story, and incidentally the last film of his career. The opportunity for him to shoot once again with Denzel Washington, his favorite actor, that he found here for the fifth time after USS Alabama in 1995, Already seen in 2006, Man on Fire in 2004 and Subway Attack 123 in 2009. The rest of the cast is completed in particular by Chris Pine, Rosario Dawnson and Kevin Dunn.
Unstoppable received mixed reviews, both from the press and spectators, and reported “only” $ 167 million in box office revenue, on a budget of $ 100 million.
Adapted from a true story
Unstoppable tells about the mad race of a train launched at high speed without a pilot. An engineer and a driver then team up to try to stop this crazy train, which carries toxic products. What you need to know is that Unstoppable is adapted from a true story. Indeed, the story of Tony Scott is inspired by a true rail incident occured in Ohio, USA on May 15, 2001. As in the film, a train, model CSX 8888, pulling 47 freight cars, including two large tanks filled with phenol (a very toxic, corrosive and flammable component), traveled through a hundred kilometers without a pilot on board.
The incident took place when the engineer / train pilot decided to carry out a repair outside the vehicle requiring it to be in motion. The said repair unfortunately packed the train. The brakes did not work at the time, letting the train go at full speed, alone, on the rails. The crazy vehicle then embarked on a crazy race of more than 106 kilometers at a speed of 80km / h, slightly injuring the engineer who tried to get back into the machine.
For more than 100 km, the authorities in Ohio tried to stop the vehicle on several occasions, without succeeding. The train was finally stopped by Jess Knowlton, a veteran engineer, and Terry Forson, a novice conductor, aboard their locomotive. Thanks to their vehicle, they have reduced the speed of the train CSX 8888 by 17km / h, thus allowing another pilot, Jon Hosfeld, get on board. The latter then cut the power to CSX 8888 to stop it definitively before it does any damage. A story which fortunately ended well, and which therefore inspired Unstoppable to Tony Scott.