Author(s): D.W. Dillon
A 20th Century Fox Production
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Wesley Strick
Cinematography by Slawomir Idziak
Edited by Pietro Scalia
Sound by Gary Rydstrom and Gloria Borders
Art Direction by Peter Lamont and Michael Ford
Special Effects by Robert Legato and Michael Kanfer
Music by Vangelis
Produced by Ridley Scott and Jon Landau
Joseph Gordon-levitt as Leyton Hume
Katie Holmes as Theresa Dunn
Richard Attenborough as Capt. Philip Conrad
Billy Zane as Josiah Devlin
Vince Vaughn as Ricky Ramsey
Carlos Bernard as Marco Diaz
Grace Zabriskie as Eliza Wainwright
Omar Sharif as Solomon Masud
Sarah Vowell as Cynthia Hennigan
Michael Rosenbaum as Linus Millburn
Sam Shepard as Howard Hume
Tagline: "The making's of a beautiful disaster"
Synopsis: The year is 2020. Aviator engineer, Howard Hume (Sam Shepard), designs and builds what is to be the safest and most pleasant form of airline transportation with his state of the art, modern day blimp, the "Zeppelin 2020". Linus Millburn (Michael Rosenbaum), Hume's chief engineer desperately tries to convince Hume to delay it's maiden flight, sighting reports of a saboteur in their midst and Hume's lack of screening it's passengers and crew. But the overly-ambitious Hume will hear none of it, and fire his top man minutes before take off. As Hume nervously oversees the voyage from ground control, and only minutes after lift off, retired aviator legend, Captain Philip Conrad (Richard Attenborough) has suffered a spontaneous mild stroke due to poison, leaving his green behind the ears co-pilot Josiah Devlin (Billy Zane) to man the controls. Leyton Hume (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the son of the architect of the ship, acting as Hume's eyes and ears for his father, begins to suspect Millburn is behind the poisoning of the captain and begins his own investigation amongst the crew. A cat and mouse game begins between Millburn and Leyton Hume, with Millburn seeking every opportunity to land the ship, whether it be frightening the high society passengers, giving them thoughts of mutiny or manually bringing it down himself, while Leyton is trying his best to contain Millburn's acts of suspicion. Only Leyton's own suspicions grows with every dark cloud that approaches.
With a passenger list of celebrities; the demanding Oscar-winning actress, Eliza Wainwright (Grace Zabriskie) who's well past her prime. The famed Islamic brain surgeon, Solomon Masud (Omar Sharif). The fearless mixed martial arts champion, Marco Diaz (Carlos Bernard). The skeptical Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Cynthia Hennigan (Sarah Vowell). With in-flight entertainment, courtesy of the hilarious Stand-Up comedian, Ricky Ramsey (Vince Vaughn), this adventure in the sky promises to be a delight. The VIP's are sitting comfortably, the laughs are loud, the wine glasses sparkle and all looks breath-taking in the clouds. But what the cozy passengers do not know is the hell that is going on amongst the crew of the ship. They will soon find out the seriousness of the turbulent ride that is imminent. Suspects abound with the looming elephant in the room that is the Islamic doctor, who is trying to fight off the discrimination from the rest of the passengers with the help of the Leyton Hume's sympathetic girlfriend, Theresa Dunn (Katie Holmes). Martial Arts champion Marco Diaz leads the pack of irate passengers as their fears take hold. The rough winds are shaking the darling buds of May as a tsunami storm approaches inside and out of the Zeppelin 2020.
What the Press would say:
Prepare yourself for the most fascinating, thrill-bound adventure in the skies ever put to film. Ridley Scott embarks on another futuristic journey with "Zeppelin 2020". A marvelous suspense-laden who-dunnit disaster epic that will pin you to your seat for the non-stop heart-pounding 180 minutes. With writer/script doctor Wesley Strick (Cape Fear) at the helm of the story, Scott buries his head in the clouds again. Only this time, the skies the limit and the future, seemingly brighter.
Rising film star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt leads an all-star cast with screen legends Omar Sharif, Sam Shepard and Richard Attenborough, with acclaimed television actors such as Grace Zabriskie (Twin Peaks), Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville), and Carlos Bernard (24). Scene stealers such as Vince Vaughn as a stand-up comedian, Katie Holmes as the damsel in distress, and making her on screen debut is acclaimed writer/journalist/history buff, Sarah Vowell who along with Vaughn promises laughs amidst the suspense. How could one actor stand out in this array of talent to capture awards and the hearts of millions? Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who's brilliant work in films like "Brick" and "The Lookout" carries the weight of the ship. A fearless son, living in the shadows of the brilliant maker of the Zeppelin 2020, he finds himself being overly observant. A trait unwanted, but welcomed by others in the face of danger. Omar Sharif's brilliance as the bulls-eye for a lynch mob in the skies, puts a fine-tuned capper on an unforgettable career.
Not just a disaster flick, Wesley Strick and Ridley Scott put together what they deem a "disaster noir". Beneath the nerves, we find ourselves in a mystery with a plethora of suspects. A thinking man's Titanic, a brighter "Blade Runner", that's not about a doomed vessel or rogue replicant bots. The Zeppelin 2020 is gigantic work of art that plays only as the setting to a story that delivers on all fronts, because within a great disaster, is a great story that makes you care for it's character's lives. Characters that fear the inevitable. The blimp for all purposes runs smooth, but it is only until everyone's fears and paranoia get the best of them, causing the demise of the monster ship. It's not about the special effects, but about how and why it may fall from the sky, and that is where it's greatness lies.
Best Director - Ridley Scott
Best Actor - Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Best Supporting Actor - Omar Sharif
Best Supporting Actor - Sam Shepard
Best Supporting Actor - Vince Vaughn
Best Supporting Actress - Grace Zabriskie
Best Original Screenplay - Wesley Strick
Best Cinematography - Slawomir Idziak
Best Editing - Pietro Scalia
Best Sound - Gary Rydstrom and Gloria Borders
Best Score - Vangelis
Best Original Song - "Disaster, Disaster" by Thom Yorke
Best Art Direction - Peter Lamont and Michael Ford
Best Special Effects - Robert Legato and Michael Kanfer