It only took Bradley Cooper a few years breaking out in David O. Russell’s films to get American Sniper, his dream project, off the ground. Directed by Clint Eastwood, just in time for us to forget about his Jersey Boys film, American Sniper is coming in just in time for Oscar season.
The film’s trailer, which was dropped earlier, heavily features Cooper’s most lethal sniper Chris Kyle. The trailer shows the Navy SEAL with his hand on the trigger, making the difficult decision whether or not he’s sure his target is suspect enough to shoot. As the targets trail under his view, pieces of his home life flash to the sound of terrifying heart beats.
The Navy SEAL is seen sharing his first dance with his wife, welcoming their first child, and in the middle of an intense argument, but these flashes are brief, and build up on the horrific decision he has to make. Just as it’s revealed that the woman is passing off a Russian grenade to a boy, the boy runs further away from his view.
According to Deadline, “It follows Kyle’s journey from rodeo cowboy to SEAL Chief with the highest number of sniper kills in U.S. military history.”
The film has legs and dates back to 2013. With a script by Jason Hall, this adaptation of Chris Kyle’s memoir was once set to be directed by Steven Spielberg before Clint Eastwood came in. Eastwood only came in after Spielberg dropped out in August of 2013. From the trailer, this doesn’t look like Eastwood’s signature work, and there’s no sign of a melodramatic score that he’s famous for leaning on.
Instead, this looks like something that might really run during Oscar season and surprise everyone. In fact, American Sniper wasn’t really in anyone’s sights for awards season because it wasn’t known if it would be finished in time. It looks like once Eastwood’s film Jersey Boys dropped off the radar, he focused all of his time and energy into making sure this film was ready. With a release date of January 16, it’s just under the cut off.
According to USA Today, Cooper only had a brief time with Chris Kyle before he was gunned down in 2013 by a “troubled military veteran.”
Of his short conversation with Kyle, he said, “Thank God I got to talk to him once on the phone. It was a very quick conversation. But I did tell him how serious I was about making this movie, and he should just know that whatever fears he had about Hollywood, to just put them aside and trust me. That I was going to do everything I could to tell this story.”
Although it was tough to go on with the project, Cooper said he needed to “do right by Kyle and his family.”
[Image via Warner Bros.]