The true-life drama, based on US soldier Chris Kyle’s bestselling 2012 autobiography, also stars Sienna Miller as Kyle’s wife, Taya Renae Kyle.
The trailer comprises a harrowing clip from the film in which the sniper must choose whether to gun down an Iraqi woman and child who appear to be mounting a suicide attack, interspersed with flashbacks to the soldier’s life in America with his own wife and children.
Kyle served four tours in Iraq and was hailed as the deadliest ever US sniper, with 160 confirmed kills prior to his departure from the armed forces in 2009. He was shot dead at a firing range last year by a fellow veteran with PTSD, whom he had been attempting to help.
Eastwood took on American Sniper last year following the departure of original director Steven Spielberg over budgetary issues. The drama is being billed as a pet project for Cooper, who will also produce, and is being primed for an Oscars run in line with the impressive awards season credentials of the film’s director.
Cooper was Oscar-nominated for his acting work on 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook and last year’s American Hustle, both of which were directed by David O Russell. Eastwood has four Oscar wins and four nominations for his movies Unforgiven, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby and Letters from Iwo Jima, all in the best director and best film categories.
American Sniper debuts on limited release in the US on Christmas Day, in order to qualify for the 2015 Oscars. It then arrives in further North American cinemas on 16 January, and in the UK on the same day.
This article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Friday 3rd October 2014 18.03 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010