LOS ANGELES — Just in time to add to your holiday must-watch list, “The Shepherd” is landing at Disney+.
It’s based on the novel by Frederick Forsyth and tells the story of a young Royal Air Force pilot who is flying the last plane out on Christmas Eve to head home to his family and girlfriend. But as he’s in the air, he hits an obstacle.
“He loses all of his instruments,” writer and director Iain Softley told On The Red Carpet. “Just when all hope is lost, a mysterious shape of an aircraft appears out of the fog beneath him. From that point, the story takes a very interesting turn.”
“The Shepherd” is a short film, but it’s been a long time in the making. John Travolta, who co-starred in and co-executive produced the movie, has had this story on his mind for decades.
Travolta explained, “About 33 years ago, I came across this gorgeous Vampire jet. A couple of years go by and I run across, in a bookstore, a book called ‘The Shepherd.’ And on the cover is a picture of a Vampire, which is the icon of the story of ‘The Shepherd.’ And I thought, ‘One day I would like to make a movie of this book.'”
Travolta optioned the novella back then, with the intention of playing the lead role of the younger pilot. But the idea got shelved for years, until he and Softley met. And after Softley adapted the story, Travolta decided to play the part of the Shepherd.
“To see the film on the verge of being seen by an audience is very exciting and hopeful that people will like what we’ve done,” Softley said. “And that they’ll find, like I did, that it’s a film that I want to watch with my family at Christmas.”
“The Shepherd” flies onto Disney+ Friday, Dec. 1.
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