Academy award-winning director, robert zemeckis is taking viewers for a wild ride. And now, he's back with a real thriller, starring denzel washington. Take a look. This is flight 227. We're in an... See More
Academy award-winning director, robert zemeckis is taking viewers for a wild ride. And now, he's back with a real thriller, starring denzel washington. Take a look. This is flight 227. We're in an uncontrolled dive. Reporter: After more than a decade, "flight" marks the return for live-action filmmaking for academy award-winner, robert zemeckis. Best-known for "back to the future" and "forrest gump." Why did you make us wait so long? They weren't as compelling as this one came along. Reporter: What came along is an action thriller starring denzel washington. It's making a movie that's complex and an adult drama, in today's world, you have to do it for very little money. We made it for like $30 millio I'm in awe of what you did. Reporter: You have denzel and don cheadle. What was it like directing them? I can't say enough about this cast. It was great to watch everybody work because everybody was so good. Reporter: So good. Zemeckis and his stars are now being mentioned for hollywood's top honors. Oscar buzz? How does that feel? I think denzel, this is an oscar-winning performance if i ever saw one. Reporter: Washington plays a pilot who keeps an out-of-control plane from crashing. But he is in trouble when supervisors find he has alcohol in his system. This is not a movie with heroes and villains. It has complexities. It has ambiguity and complex characters. Reporter: Zemeckis is a pilot. He says it gives him a unique perspective on the story. Have you had a close call as a pilot? I had to make an emergency landing once. I lost engine power on takeoff. I was glad to see every emergency vecle at the airport, descending on the runway. But I was able to land the plane without incident. Reporter: And you were calm? I was calm. I remember talking to the guys at the tour afterwards. And I said, I didn't declare an emergency. They said, that's okay. We heard it in your voice. Reporter: You weren't as calm as you thought you were. I don't think I was. No. There's nothing calm about that scene, the opening of this movie. "Flight" opens today.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.