To celebrate the 35th anniversary of Airplane! this year, The A.V. Club has a new oral history out today on the film’s origins, casting, production, and impact with writers/directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker as well as a bunch of the cast. Here’s what Jerry Zucker had to say on the film’s unexpected cult popularity:
I think we’d spent so much time—years—convincing other people that it was going to be a hit that we started to believe it. [Laughs.] But we had our ups and downs, and we had moments of “Oh, my God, it’s never going to work.” We were certainly bullish on the movie when it came out, but, you know, this was in the days before VHS, really, or DVD or anything else, let alone hundreds and hundreds of cable channels. After movies came out, they didn’t mean much. They just sort of died. And I don’t think we thought, “Okay, this is our first real film, it did well, we’re on our way, that’s great, we can now have a career.” But it really is amazing that it’s lasted all these years. That was definitely a surprise.
Read the rest over at The A.V. Club.