After over ten years, director Robert Zemeckis returned to live-action films this year with Flight, starring Denzel Washington — and now has garnered a Best Picture Oscar nomination for his effort.

The film revolves around Whip Whitaker, a pilot with a substance abuse problem. While under the influence of vodka and cocaine, Whitaker masterfully lands a malfunctioning plane, saving the lives of most of the passengers on board. Although not at fault for the aircraft's untimely descent, he is forced to face his addictions in the wreck's aftermath.

Flight is Zemeckis first live-action film since 2000’s Castaway. In the meantime, he has wielded his talents behind three technologically advanced animated features—The Polar Express (2004), Beowulf (2007) and A Christmas Carol (2009). Through his work on these projects, he has played an integral part in the advancement of motion-capture technology (mo-cap), which uses scanners in place of cameras to capture the actions of performers to then transfer into animation. “Everyone keeps thinking I haven’t made a movie in 12 years,” Zemeckis said to The New York Times. “It’s like I’ve gone off and done opera or something.”

Fans of Zemeckis’ early work, including the Back to the Future triology and Forest Gump, have been without the movies they had come to expect from him. With “Flight, Robert Zemeckis parachutes back to where he belongs," Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, in big-time, big-star, live-action filmmaking.”

Watch Zemeckis talk about Flight on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon below:

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