Bradley Cooper will be starring as slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in the upcoming biopic American Sniper.
Cooper announced last May that he would be producing an adaptation of Kyle’s bestselling autobiography of the same name, and the New York Post reported Friday that he would also be starring in the film.
The February 2 shooting death of Kyle and another man by Eddie Ray Routh, a friend and fellow veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, prompted Cooper to fast-track the film. Kyle had reportedly taken Routh to a shooting range in Erath County, Texas, to help him with his PTSD. Routh was arraigned last Saturday on two counts of capital murder.
In an interview on the NPR program Fresh AirThursday, Cooper said that he was going to meet with producers that same day to determine “how we can speed up the process and really try to make this movie.” Cooper also said that screenwriter Jason Dean Hall was due to hand in his first draft of the screenplay this week.
The Oscar nominee, who turned 38 last month, said Kyle’s story needed to be told and that the film was important for two reasons.
“One, gun control,” he said, “and two, the needs to address this – the many soldiers that are coming back with post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Cooper said he “couldn’t believe” the news about Kyle’s death. “Thursday I was at Walter Reed Hospital meeting with veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder, among many other ailments, and then all of a sudden I heard this thing and I just couldn’t believe it.”
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