There's a big lineup of stars in the new Jennings Lang movie, "Airport '79 -- Concorde." But the biggest attraction of all is going to be the aircraft itself.
"We believe," says Lang, "that Concorde is a magical star that people will go to see in a good motion picture."
Having made the decision to use the glamorous plane in his film, the next thing he had to do was find a glamorous actor to play its pilot.
Now glamorous stars are not as thick upon the ground as once they were. But there are still a few about, and in Paris they found one of them: Alain Delon, complete with tousled hair and glittering eyes.
And any misgivings Air France might have had about letting Hollywood feature its supersonic plane in a disaster movie evaporated when they learned that Delon -- the biggest star in France -- would be its captain.
Even so, they laid down some fairly stringent rules.
In Hollywood this week, Delon said:
"It took Jennings Lang a long time to get permission from Air France and the plane's makers, Aerospatiale, to use Concorde. You must remember it's not just another aircraft to us; it's a star. And because we know one day it will disappear, due to its high cost, we feel very protective about it.
"So Air France insisted on certain changes being made in the original script. They wanted to make sure the crew always behaved correctly in the cockpit. For instance, they accepted the pilots drink off duty and have romances, but they wouldn't allow these to be discussed inside the cockpit. I had a speech in the original script where I talked about my father, who drank a lot. That had to be cut."
In the film -- which is about a group of people using a chartered Concorde to fly to the Olympic Games in Moscow -- Delon has a love affair with a stewardess, played by Sylvia Kristel of "Emmanuelle" fame.
"That was permissible," said Delon. "Outside the aircraft I could do as I liked. But I wasn't allowed to mention it while actually flying."
Most of the scenes are being filmed in realistic mock-ups at Universal Studios. But for two days the company filmed with a real Concorde at Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport.
"We used the plane for two days there and then had it for one day in Washington," said Delon. "I flew from Paris to Dulles Airport one evening, began work at 6 a.m. next day, and then flew back to Paris on the same plane that afternoon. Fantastic."
In Lang's film, which is being directed by David Lowell Rich and also stars Robert Wagner, Susan Blakely and George Kennedy, the plane will bear the markings of Federation Airlines.
This is because none of the "Airport" series has ever used the name of a real airline. Understandably -- since no airline wants to be associated with a film that shows planes being blown up by madmen or plunging into the ocean.
So what happens to the pride and joy of Federation Airlines?
"It doesn't actually creash," said Delon. "But it does have to force-land. We come down in the show in the Bavarian mountains."
Adds Jennings Lang: "I won't give away the ending. But I can tell you that Concorde does what no other airplane could possibly do. And everyone comes out safely."