American Sniper, the story of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, hits theaters on Christmas Day. The Clint Eastwood-directed film is based on the 2012 memoir by Kyle himself.
In the film version of American Sniper, Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle. Kyle was a sharpshooter, and is known as "the deadliest sniper in US history." He took it as his personal mission to protect his fellow soldiers on the ground in battle after battle. He saved so many Marine lives -- and took so many enemy lives -- that his fellow SEALS called him The Legend.
The enemy called him “Al-Shaitan Ramadi” — “The Devil of Ramadi.” Before he left the Middle East for the last time, Chris Kyle had 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills, including one from over a mile away.
“After the first kill, the others come easy. I don’t have to psych myself up, or do anything mentally — I look through the scope, get the target in the cross hairs and kill my enemy before he kills one of my people,” Kyle wrote in "American Sniper."
Saving the lives of fellow American servicemen was what it was all about for Kyle. The fact that he was later killed by a fellow serviceman lends an ugly irony to his story.
Clint Eastwood took on the America Sniper project, and cast Bradley Cooper to play the storied hero. Word around the campfire is that Bradley Cooper could walk away from this film with his third Oscar nomination in a row. The first two were for Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.
Lots of people are hoping the film does well at the box office. Before his death, Kyle was sued by former Minnesota governor and former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura over a story he recounted in his book. Ventura continued with the lawsuit even after Kyle's death, naming his estate in the suit. Ventura won that suit, and was awarded $1.8 million. Ventura has said that Kyle's publisher -- or their insurance -- will pay the asard, not Kyle's widow. But she insists that is not the case.
"I think insurance is responsible for $500,000 because of the way the law is written," Taya Kyle said. She insists that the rest is coming out of her pocket.