Warner Bros. has announced that its hotly anticipated American Sniper will get a limited release this Christmas, followed by a wider rollout on January 16. In the movie Bradley Cooper stars as real-life Navy SEAL sharpshooter, Chris Kyle, who holds the record for confirmed kills in battle. The movie is based on Kyle’s autobiography of the same name, which Cooper himself purchased the rights to.
The genesis of the project has been somewhat tumultuous, as shortly after Cooper acquired the rights to the book, Kyle was tragically killed at a shooting range in Texas by a fellow veteran suffering from PTSD. This caused Cooper to fast-track the project, with Steven Spielberg coming on board to direct. Unfortunately, the venerated director butted heads with the studio over the film’s budget and eventually left the project. It was then that Eastwood stepped in and production soon began. The Christmas Day release means the film will be eligible for awards this year and hints that the studio must like what they’ve seen so far.
This will make two movies released this calendar year for the prolific 84 year-old director, whose Jersey Boys hit theaters just two months ago. Though Eastwood remains a respected director, he hasn’t had any luck come awards season since 2007’s Letter from Iwo Jima. Cooper on the other hand remains white hot, coming off of back to back David O. Russell collaborations Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle. He provided one of the voices for the smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy, which is still playing in theaters, and will next be seen in celebrated Danish director Susanne Bier’s indie drama Serena, alongside none other than Jennifer Lawrence once again. He’s also currently filming the newly-titled chef movie Adam Jones, which figures to be one of next year’s most anticipated movies.