After the tragic shooting death of ex-Navy SEAL Chris Kyle this past week, Bradley Cooper is moving forward with American Sniper, a movie based on the autobiography of Kyle. Cooper bought the rights to American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History last spring, he told NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday.
In the wide-ranging interview (which you can listen to in full), Cooper discussed how he wanted to fast-track the project, which has obviously generated more public interest with recent events. “I couldn’t believe it. Jason Hall, who’s writing the script, called me an hour after it happened…,” Cooper explained about how he heard about the death. “The first draft was coming in this week, and 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 hear this thing and I just can’t believe it. This man has two children, and he is an advocate for putting guns back in veterans’ hands, as a way of therapy.”
Cooper went on to discuss what he had heard, citing news reports that claim Kyle took Eddie Ray Routh, who suffers from PTSD, to a shooting range in Texas to help him, where Routh then allegedly shot and killed Kyle as well as Chad Littlefield, Kyle’s friend.
When asked about whether now was the appropriate time to make this movie happen, Cooper said it was, and added that in addition to producing, he planned on portraying Kyle. “I’m going to meet with the writers and producers today to talk about, number one what we can do for his family, and number two, how we can speed up the process and really try to make this movie,” he said. “His story first of all really needs to be told, and it’s also relevant on two fronts: gun control and the need to address the many soldiers who are coming back with PTSD. Medicine has evolved to such a state — soldiers are coming back and they’re going to assimilate into the culture and if we don’t address the mental state along with the physical state it’s going to be a problem.”
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