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Kennedy/Marshall Options Capt. Sulley’s Heroic Story

Flashlight Films will finance development of the project, which could go to theaters or TV

Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall's Kennedy/Marshall Co. have teamed up with Flashlight Films to option the film rights to Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger's memoir "Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters," Kennedy/Marshall has confirmed to TheWrap.

Jeffrey Zaslow helped Sullenberger write the book, which chronicles the pilot's heroic decision to land a U.S. Airways flight in the Hudson River.

Marshall will produce with Flashlight's Allyn Stewart, while Kennedy will exec produce with Flashlight's Kipp Nelson.

Flashlight is financing the development of the project, which does not have a studio attached and will soon go out to writers, though it hasn't been decided whether the material will translate better to film or TV.

Regardless of which medium it debuts in, Sullenberger and his wife Lorrie will serve as consultants on the project, with Mrs. Sulley involved because of how her family was affected by her husband's sudden celebrity.

Sulenberger had been leery about optioning the film rights to his remarkable story, but fellow pilot Harrison Ford encouraged him to trust Kennedy and Marshall, who the actor had worked with for years on the "Indiana Jones" franchise.

Kennedy and Marshall have Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter" opening in limited release on Oct. 15 before going wide the following week.

Flashlight is a screenplay development fund run by Stewart, a former studio production exec at Warner Bros., and Nelson, a former Goldman Sachs partner turned entrepreneur.

William Morrow published "Highest Duty" nearly a year ago, and Sullenberger's representation at Brillstein Entertainment Partners negotiated the deal.

Variety first reported the news of Sullenberger's memoir being optioned for the big screen.

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