The movie is a redemption tale about Whip, an airline pilot who lands a damaged plane, saving 98 lives on a flight with 106 people — think Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger with star power. The world considers him a hero, but he struggles with the label, "as he is forced to hold up to the scrutiny of an investigation that brings into question his behavior the night before the doomed flight."
John Gatins, who wrote "Dreamer: Inspired By a True Story" and "Real Steel" wrote the script.
It's the first time Washington and Zemeckis have worked together.
In August, Zemeckis landed a two-year first-look production deal at Universal.
"Flight" is his return to live-action. The director of "Forrest Gump," "Back to the Future" and the innovative "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" has focused on stop-action recently.
He last directed 2009's "A Christmas Carol" and produced 2011's "Mars Need Moms."
Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will produce under their Parkes/MacDonald banner along with Zemeckis, Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke for their ImageMovers.
The movie is scheduled to start shooting this October in Atlanta.