We're still in the heart of summer blockbuster season, however, Clint Eastwood's latest directorial effort American Sniper is already receiving Oscar buzz.
The war drama is about Chris Kyle, a former Navy Seal who served in four combat tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was considered the best sniper in American history. The film is an adaptation of Kyle's bestselling book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History . Kyle wrote the book before being killed by a fellow veteran on a shooting range.
Warner Bros. announced that the film will be in limited release on Christmas 2014 and will continue to roll out nationwide on January 16, 2015.
Of course, the timing of the Christmas release is significant because it ensures that the film will make the cut for the 2015 award season. Eastwood will most likely be in consideration for Best Director at next year's Oscars ceremony. The 84-year-old won Best Director Academy Awards for the western Unforgiven (1992) and the weepie boxing drama Million Dollar Baby (2004).
Also sure to benefit from the Christmas release is Bradley Cooper who plays Kyle in the film. If Cooper is nominated for an acting Oscar again this year, it would make it his third year in a row. He was previously nominated for his roles in Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and American Hustle (2013).
Of course, despite Eastwood's impressive resume as a director, he is probably still mostly known for his iconic acting roles. Who could forget his turn as troubled cop Harry Callahan in the five Dirty Harry films? Or how about the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone's spaghetti western trilogy Dollars?
Eastwood has not appeared in front of the camera since Trouble with the Curve (2012) starring Justin Timberlake. However, it's not that Eastwood has given up acting all together, especially if the right role came along, "Gran Torino, that was a successful film, and it also had a nice little message,” Eastwood said. “I liked that it dealt with prejudice, [and] that it was about never being too old to learn.” He added, "If I see another, that’s great, but I don’t have the urge, or let’s say, the need to always be in front of the camera."