Clint Eastwood casts real-life soldiers in next film ‘The 15:17 to Paris’ (EXCLUSIVE)

In an unconventional move, Clint Eastwood has tapped Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone to play themselves in his next movie, "The 15:17 to Paris." The film will tell the story of the three American soldiers who stopped a terrorist on a train bound for Paris.

Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, and Ray Corasani will also join the real-life heroes in the film. Paul-Mikel Williams, Max Ivutin, Bryce Gheisa, Cole Eichenberger, and William Jennings, who will play younger versions of the soldiers.

The casting move is similar to Eastwood's "Gran Torino," which featured an almost unknown cast outside of Eastwood, who also starred in the movie.

Following the news that this would be his follow-up to the box office hit "Sully," Eastwood began a wide-ranging search for the actors who would portray the three soldiers. It seemed the studio and Eastwood had their choices but at the eleventh hour have decided to have Sadler, Skarlatos and Stone portray themselves.

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US director Clint Eastwood attends 'The Clint Eastwood Cinema Lesson' during the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 21, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Anne-Christine POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 20: (L-R) Clint Eastwood, Kendall Jenner, and Brett Ratner attend the Vanity Fair and Chopard Party celebrating the Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 20, 2017 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett / Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Clint Eastwood speaks on stage during the 'Unforgiven' restored copy presentation during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Salle Debussy on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 05: Clint Eastwood is seen on May 05, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 05: (L-R) Clint Eastwood, Alison Eastwood and Stacy Poitras arrive for the 3rd Annual Art For Animals Fundraiser at De Re Gallery on May 5, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tara Ziemba/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Clint Eastwood arrives at the 17th Annual AFI Awards at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 6, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: (L-R) Actor Gil Birmingham, director Clint Eastwood and actor Jeff Bridges attend the 17th annual AFI Awards at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 6, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for AFI)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Actress Amy Adams (L) and director Clint Eastwood attend the 17th annual AFI Awards at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 6, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Tom Ford; Clint Eastwood poses at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 6, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
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Sources say that, while the three will have good sized roles, the film is expected to begin during their childhood and show their friendship leading up to the moment that changed their lives. That means the roles will not be full-on leads.

The film is based on the book of the same name by Sadler, Skarlatos, Stone and Jeffrey E. Stern. Dorothy Blyskal will write the script.

Eastwood will produce with Tim Moore, Kristina Rivera and Jessica Meier. Warner Bros. will distribute.

The film falls in line with Eastwood's recent interest in real-life heroes following "American Sniper" and "Sully," both of which were two of his biggest box office hits.

Eastwood has met with actors for the past month since deciding the film would be his follow-up to "Sully." Before landing on "The 15:17 to Paris," Eastwood was weighing a handful of movies including "Impossible Odds," the story of humanitarian worker Jessica Buchanan, who was kidnapped while working in Somalia and later rescued by a group of Navy Seals.

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