Over the years, planes have been used as a plot device in numerous films and TV shows - in action movies like the Top Gun franchise, to encapsulate confinement a la Snakes on a Plane, to set up psychological thriller-type scenarios such as in The Wilds, for comedic effect in Bridesmaids, as a cliffhanger in Friends, or even heightened with supernatural elements like in Manifest and Lost.
In addition, these themes have continued to inspire a variety of other media, such as video games and online slot games like Cloud Corsairs, Starmada Exiles, Frequent Flyer, and Aviator Slot - the latter of which brings another unique approach to aviation thematics.
Whilst most slot games feature standard symbols and paylines, Aviator features an unpredictable plane that flies higher and higher, with a gradually increasing win multiplier. Riffing off those action and supernatural themes, the plane can fly away at any time unannounced, so players will need to cash out before the 'Lucky Plane' disappears off the map.
With all this in mind, the simply entitled 'Plane' continues well-used mixed-media plane plot devices for it's action-packed narrative. The plot centres around a former Scottish Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot, Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler), who, in the face of trouble, has to figure out a way to keep the passengers on his commercial flight, Trailblazer Airlines Flight 119, safe. Unfortunately, Torrance is forced to make an emergency landing, accidentally landing on a rebel-controlled island in the Philippines.
It's this portrayal of the Philippines that has sparked a range of negative reviews, controversy, and landed the movie in hot water. In fact, actor-turned-senator Robin Padilla and senator Juan Miguel Zubiri have spear-headed a bid for the Philippines' movie classification board to ban the film in the country.
The movie follows Torrance's escapades as he attempts to keep his passengers safe at all costs - and, one of these passengers happens to be a fugitive homicide suspect and former GCP French Foreign Legion recruit, Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), who is being extradited to Toronto, Canada. At first, Torrance needs to figure out whether Gaspare is a friend or foe - if he is another threat, or the only way to escape from the militant separatist locals.
The cast is rounded out with Tony Goldwyn, Yoson An, Evan Dane Taylor, Paul Ben-Victor, Daniella Pineda, Lilly Krug, Kelly Gale, Joey Slotnik, Remi Adeleke, Claro de los Reyes, Halleigh Hekking, and Otis Winston.
The film - originally titled The Plane - first became known back in 2016. It was pitched by British spy novelist Charles Cumming. Marc Butan (MadRiver Pictures), Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Di Bonaventura Pictures), and Mark Vahradian were all announced as producers shortly thereafter, with Gerard Butler and Alan Siegal joining as producers in 2019.
However, it wasn't until 2021 that production began in Puerto Rico, and the full casting was released. Plane was eventually released in theaters on January 13, 2023, and quickly infiltrated streaming services on February 3, 2023. In the US, it's currently available to stream on ROW8, Prime Video, Redbox, Vudu, and Apple TV.