When you write a movie that brings in roughly two-thirds of a billion dollars, you gain a certain amount of leeway in your career, and new doors and pathways open up in front of you like magic. For example, take the case of Billy Ray, one of the writers who adapted Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. He just got the nod to direct a movie of his very own, the sci-fi romance Departure.
Departure is “inspired” by Martin Caidin’s book Ghosts of the Air, and, as you may have inferred from one or both of these titles, it involves airplanes. According to Variety, the story centers on an investigator for the Federal Aviation Administration. Based out of Miami, this particular fellow becomes obsessed with discovering how an entire 727 can disappear, then reappear in the exact same spot 10 minutes later. This drive becomes increasingly intense as similar strange happenings continue to take place in Florida skies, and things ramp up even more when his wife is on one of the planes. All in all, this sounds like an episode of Twilight Zone, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bermuda Triangle come into play at some point.
Ray has worked on airplane movies before — he wrote the Jodie Foster vehicle Flightplan, which is set exclusively on a jumbo jet. Nor is this his first directorial rodeo. He helmed the political drama Shattered Glass, as well as the biographical crime narrative Breach. Since both of those are fact based, and Caidin’s book boasts the tagline “True Stories of Aerial Hauntings,” it doesn’t look like he’s straying too far from previous turf.