New Film ‘Devotion’ Honors US Navy’s First Black Aviator

Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell in New Film Devotion
Jesse Brown (Jonathan Majors) and Tom Hudner (Glen Powell) in Columbia Pictures' DEVOTION. Eli Adé/Columbia Pictures

( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell Star in Devotion As Naval Fighter Pilots in the Korean War

ENSPIRE Contributor: Abigail Elcock

On August 1, the trailer for Sony’s Devotion officially dropped. Devotion, an aerial war epic based on the bestselling book of the same name, tells the harrowing true story of two elite US Navy fighter pilots during the Korean War. Their heroic sacrifices would ultimately make them the Navy’s most celebrated wingmen.

Jonathan Majors stars as Jesse L. Brown, the first African-American aviator of the US Navy. Despite coming from poverty and facing prejudice, Brown rose up the ranks. He served in Fighter Squadron 32 where he met Thomas J Hudner Jr. played by Glen Powell. Hudner was sympathetic to Brown and the injustice he faced from his peers, but the two often clashed. In Devotion, Brown and Hudner develop an unlikely friendship, learning to rely on each other both on and off the battlefield. 

Official Devotion Movie Poster

Starring Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell
Official Devotion Movie Poster

Director J.D. Dillard has gone to great lengths to preserve the authenticity of Brown and Hudner’s stories. Planes originally flown by Fighter Squadron 32 have been found and will be used in production. Dillard aims to minimize CGI as much as possible, opting instead for in-camera effects and stunts. In fact, Majors and Powell each earned their pilot’s license! These genuine portrayals will surely captivate audiences while honoring Brown and Hudner’s legacy.

Many of the people who have worked on Devotion have become deeply passionate about it. Two of J.D. Dillard’s grandfathers served in the Korean War. That personal connection certainly influenced Dillard’s emphasis on accuracy.

Glen Powell, who recently starred in Top Gun: Maverick, first connected with the story when he read the book on a fishing trip in 2014.  He was so inspired that he teamed up with Black Label Media to get the movie-making rights. “I feel like this movie just resonates as so much more honest than most movies about being an ally and a friend and a wingman, and how far you’re willing to go for a friend,” Powell told Vanity Fair. “And it’s not going to be in a cheesy way. It’s always grounded in reality.”

Devotion takes flight on November 23! Be sure to watch it exclusively in theaters. If you want all the latest updates on the film, visit the official website or follow Devotion on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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