AceShowbiz - Doug Liman addressed the 2015 plane crash on the set of his new movie "American Made" as the producers were sued by families of the fallen pilots. The director refused to comment on the lawsuit but said that the accident did not happen during the filming. He claimed that the pilots were only moving the airplane.
"I'm a pilot and Tom Cruise is a pilot. I don't know anything specific about the accident, because it didn't happen during the filming. They were just moving one of the airplanes," he told Vulture. "I was just going to say that it's just a reminder - something all pilots know - which is that flying is really dangerous. Not in commercial planes, by the way. I don't want to scare people who are about to get on a United flight. Being on a commercial airplane is actually one of the safest places you can be on the planet."
Alan Purwin and Carlos Berl died in the plane crash while the other pilot Jimmy Lee Garland was left without feeling in the lower half of his body. Doug Liman and the lead actor, Tom Cruise, were not named defendants in the lawsuit, but they were partially blamed for what happened. They were accused of being "negligant."
The fatal flight was described as a "a spontaneous, rushed, ad hoc mission over unfamiliar terrain, in unfamiliar weather, from a small jungle airstrip." The plaintiffs argued that the actor could have piloted the plane himself since he's "a well-qualified pilot very familiar with the Aerostar and the routing."
"The demands of filming in Colombia, together with Cruise's and director Doug Liman's enthusiasm for multiple takes of lavish flying sequences, added hours to every filming day and added days to the schedule," read the lawsuit. "Lapses in planning, coordinating, scheduling, and flight safety that were the Defendants' responsibility resulted in an unqualified and unprepared pilot being pressed into service for a dangerous flight in a vintage aircraft across an unfamiliar mountain pass in bad weather."
A few weeks before the accident, Purwin sent an email to one of the executive producers about the high risk that he and his friends were facing on the set. Calling it "the most dangerous project I've ever encountered," he wrote, "You have no idea the exposure TC and the entire Aerial Team is realizing every time we get in the air. There's a very 'thin line' between keeping all aerial activities safe and having an accident. Trust me on this!"
The court documents also included a complaint about Liman and Cruise sent by the same producer to the insurance company, "DL [Doug Liman] and TC [Tom Cruise] [are] adding entire scenes and aerial shots on the fly. Had to bring in Uni Safety to help wrangle them. In the last 48 hours this has become the most insane s*** I've ever dealt with."