There’s some odd stuff going on with the casting for Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 To Paris, the director’s latest tale of stalwart, good-hearted American heroes doing right. Eastwood already made headlines earlier this week, when he announced that the story’s central figures—Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone, who helped stop a 2015 attack on a French train—would be appearing as themselves in the upcoming film. Now, for whatever reason, he’s surrounding the trio with a bunch of very talented sitcom stars.
Variety reports that Tony Hale, of Veep and Arrested Development fame, and Reno 911! and The Odd Couple’s Thomas Lennon have both signed on for the film, playing the gym teacher and principal at the school where Sadler, Skarlatos, and Stone grew up. The two funnymen join a cast that already includes The Office’s Jenna Fischer and Hale’s old Arrested Development co-star Judy Greer, making us legitimately wonder: Is Clint making a comedy here?
It’s not like directors haven’t gotten great mileage out of casting comedic actors in dramatic parts in the past, of course. But the apparent plans to follow Sadler, Skarlatos, and Stone as kids raises the question of whether the follow-up to Sully will have a lighter, more coming-of-age tone than Eastwood’s usual fare. (It doesn’t hurt that the train attack in question ended with zero fatalities, stopping everything from getting too grim in the end.) In any case, it’s a little strange to see quite so much comedic talent pop up in any Eastwood project that doesn’t also have at least one orangutan involved.