7500, a film about an aeroplane hijacking featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt has just premiered on Amazon and fans are wondering if the movie is based on real events.

In typical Hollywood fashion, movies about aeroplane hijackings tend to focus on a dashing hero saving the day against all odds – Non-Stop with Liam Neeson, Air Force One with Harrison Ford or even Con Air with Nicholas Cage to name a few.

In reality, hijackings are high-pressure and high-altitude settings where normal people are thrust into horrific situations.

7500 is a new hijacking movie featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a pilot who struggles to deal with each decision that could mean the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

The film may have only just premiered on Amazon, but fans are wondering whether the events of the movie are based on a true story.

Is 7500 based on a true story?

  • No, 7500 is not based on real events, but the writers did take inspiration from real hijacking reports.

Speaking to Variety, director Patrick Vollrath said he “I read a lot of hijacking reports and did a lot of research about airplanes…to make sure it would be as real as possible.”

Whilst the plot is not directly based on a true story, the story does take inspiration from past terrorist hijackings. Notable hijackings involving German flights include Air Malta Flight 830 in 1997, LOT Polish Airlines Flight 165 in 1978 and the simultaneous hijacking of three Douglas DC-3s in 1950.

However, Vollrath believes that it is a mixture of his filming style and the actors’ performance that makes 7500 so believable.

“Basically everything started on the one hand from shooting in a cramped space, and on the other from the humane aspect, which stems from a YouTube video I watched.” – Patrick Vollrath.

It turns out that Carlo Kitzlinger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s co-pilot in 7500, worked as a professional pilot and was able to make subtle changes to filming based on his experiences. JDL himself even trained on a simulator for the role.

Vollrath also revealed that the character development for the young Vedat was an important part of films production.

“There was a time in 2015 when a lot of really young kids mostly from Europe left their homes and tried to join ISIS. I watched a report about this kid who was 18 and he came back after joining ISIS…totally disillusioned and de-radicalized…I felt I want to make a film about a kid who becomes de-radicalized the moment when he’s got blood on his hands.” – Patrick Vollrath.

He goes on to discuss that the terrorist attacks in Paris and Germany took place during the time when he was writing 7500. He notes that he had to ask himself “should I go on telling a story about this situation?” but that he decided “we need to try to give an answer about how we can get out of this [spiral].”

7500 is available to stream right now on Amazon Prime Video.

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