Clint Eastwood's next project is a film about hero backpackers

They were the American backpackers who made headlines around the world after crash-tackling a would-be terrorist armed with an AK-47 on a crowded European train.

Now, Clint Eastwood wants to immortalise the story of the three men who risked their lives to save their fellow passengers.

The Hollywood veteran has decided to produce a movie based on the real-life survival story and subsequent book The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train and Three American Heroes.

Eastwood has directed a string of action movies in recent years, including Sully and American Sniper. The latter snapped up more than $700 million at the box office worldwide and a string of Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture.

The demand for the genre doesn't appear to be dying down, with Eastwood currently working on a film about an aid worker who is kidnapped by Somali pirates, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Alex Skarlatos' quick-thinking on the Paris-bound train fits with Eastwood's love for stories about ordinary people who are forced to do extraordinary things.

On the day of the thwarted attack, the three mates - who grew up in California together and were in Europe to celebrate Mr Skarlatos' return from a tour of duty in Afghanistan - attacked the gunman while he was cocking his assault rifle.

Mr Stone choked the man while Mr Skarlatos hit him over the head. The would-be terrorist was armed with an AK-47, pistol and box cutter and one of the men almost lost their thumb in the process.

Mr Stone also had to stick his fingers into an injured man's neck to stem the bleeding until paramedics arrived.

The trio were awarded French Legion of Honour medals by president Francois Hollande after the ordeal.

The story Clint Eastwood's next project is a film about hero backpackers first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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