The Oscar narrative always gets a little twisted in the fall: Films like the “The Imitation Game” or “The Theory Of Everything” benefit from from early and silly “seal the deal” premonitions, but in fact, the awards arms race usually doesn’t being in earnest until later in the year. We recently looked at 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders and on that list is Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” starring Bradley Cooper. Cooper’s passion project see him produce as well as act, and Steven Spielberg was once attached to direct.
Cooper optioned the novel “American Sniper” by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. And the two spoke only once: Kyle was was killed in 2013 by a troubled Marine veteran at a shooting range (the trial for his murder is still ongoing).
“Thank God I got to talk to him once on the phone,” Cooper, who plays Kyle in the film, told USA Today who provides a first look at the film. “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.”
And of course now telling that story —a Navy SEAL recounts his military career which includes more than 150 confirmed kills— comes with a greater responsibility. “I had to do right by him and his family. There was really no choice,” Cooper said. “You’re sitting across the dining room table talking to this person’s father and mother. And his children and wife are there. And he’s passed away. Knowing that they are putting all of their stories in your hands and the responsibly of that, it’s actually unique.”
The movie co-stars Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Kyle Gallner, Sam Jaeger, Jake McDorman and Cory Hardrict. “American Sniper” hits theaters December 25th and presumably will be a big player in the awards season come the winter. Check out the new photos above and below and keep an eye out for the trailer which hits tomorrow.