American Sniper, director Clint Eastwood’s war film that stars Bradley Cooper as the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, is aiming to be a major player in this year’s Oscar race. Warner Bros. announced yesterday that the movie will open in limited theaters on Dec. 25 before opening wide on Jan. 16.
In his bestselling 2012 autobiography, American Sniper, Kyle boasted of killing more than 200 enemy targets during his four tours of duty in Iraq, where he earned the nickname “the Devil of Ramadi.”
“After the first kill, the others come easy,” Kyle wrote. “I don’t have to psych myself up, or do something special mentally—I look through the scope, get my target in the cross hairs, and kill my enemy, before he kills one of my people.”
In 2013, Kyle and a friend were shot at a Texas gun range by a disturbed Marine they were trying to help recover from PTSD. “It’s been quite a road,” Cooper told EW last August. “We bought the rights to the book and I was talking to Chris and we had every intention of making the movie already and then he was murdered. I know it’s going to be a tough role for me.”