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The Dead Parrot Flaccid Penis Caper: ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’ Writer Janis Hirsch

Comedy Writer Reveals Lurid Details of Harassment on Set — and Why It Cost Her a Job.

Janis Hirsch writes: In 1986, after only three or four years in Los Angeles, Garry Shandling called to offer me a job on his new show. I don’t remember how I knew Garry well enough for him to call me, but whenever I’d run into him at Hugo’s, we’d share a laugh or two, and once he asked me if I could help him find a snake man. Even though I lived in a snake-free condo, I found him one. And not to brag, but this was before Google.

Anyway, he offered me a job on Showtime’s It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, and even though all I knew was the title, that was enough for me. It started out as a lot of fun. A bunch of cool, smart guys and me working on a show where Garry didn’t just break the fourth wall but rode around behind it in a golf cart.

Once we got on the air, we were golden. I was, at any rate; I wrote two of first six episodes, both of which got a nice write-up in the L.A. Times, both of which said nice things about me, the writer, the only woman on staff. What could possibly go wrong?

The guys started excluding me from meetings: “Oh, we couldn’t find you”…at my desk. Then they started excluding me from the table, instead assigning me “the slit scenes” to write. Even though these scenes were the ones that featured the only female castmember, it didn’t occur to me exactly what slit they were referring to until one day in the ladies room.

[Read the full story here, at Hollywood Reporter]

My mantra became, “I won’t cry until I get home.” It was amended to “I won’t cry until I get into the parking lot,” which became “I won’t cry until I get into the stairwell,” which morphed into “Fuck, I’m crying.’

One day, I was sitting in Garry’s office across the desk from him. A few of the writers and one of the actors were in the room, too. I felt a tap on my shoulder, I turned, and there was that actor’s flaccid penis draped on it like a pirate’s dead parrot. Riotous laughter ensued from all but one of us. Read the rest of this entry »

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Make America Bootyful Again: Joy Villa in MAGA Gown on Grammys 2017 Red Carpet 

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Singer Joyce Villa wore a ‘Make America Great Again’ gown.

Scandalous dresses on the Grammys red carpet aren’t what they used to be. It wasn’t deep cleavage or a thigh-high leg slit that had tongues wagging about singer Joyce Villa on Sunday night. It was her red, white and blue gown emblazoned with “Make
joyce-villaAmerica Great Again” in front, and “Trump” across the train.

It’s a controversial statement coming from an artist in an industry that’s largely in opposition to the new president’s social policies, not to mention from a woman who identifies as bi-racial.

[In other words, The Hollywood Reporter finds it shocking, and controversial for the President of the United States to receive public support from a non-white entertainer]

The singer-songwriter, who goes by the name Princess Joy Villa, teased the ensemble on Instagram with a photo of a heart-shaped clutch and a caption stating, “My whole artistic platform is about LOVE. I couldn’t be where I am today without the love and tenderness of those beautiful supporters and friends around me.”

Villa went on to say, ”I hope you enjoy tonight’s #grammyawards2017 and remember to forget your problems and focus on the future! You are infinite and beautiful and no one can stop you but you. Read the rest of this entry »


Movie Critic on Obama Farewell: ‘I Want to Grab His Pant Leg and Tell Him Not to Go!

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Tim Graham reports: Movie critic Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter offered a rave review of President Obama’s farewell address on Tuesday night, hailing it in the headline as “One Last Reminder of What Presidential Looks Like.” Donald Trump is all “schoolyard taunts” for white people in “silly hats,” while Obama is so terrific that “Watching him walk off the stage made you feel like a child desperately holding onto a father’s pants [sic] legs to try to prevent him from leaving the house.”
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“I know exactly how you feel.”

…This sounds like a parody of media fawning over Obama….but then so does so much of the Obama-loving media. But the line about grabbing on to Obama’s pant leg is just priceless:

“I’m more optimistic than when we started,” declared Obama, and it was then that you fully realized that he was transitioning from commander in chief to therapist in chief.

“It has been the honor of my life to serve you. … I won’t stop,” he assured us, invoking the slogan that accompanied his ascendancy to the presidency: “Yes we can.” Except this time, he added, “Yes we did.” Read the rest of this entry »


Report: Carrie Fisher Suffers Heart Attack on Plane

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Police were radioed for help around 1 p.m.

Ryan Parker reports: Carrie Fisher reportedly suffered a heart attack on a plane Friday, according to TMZ.

Airport police confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter units were responding to someone with a medical emergency on a plane, but they could not identify the victim, officer Alicia Hernandez said.

Police were radioed for help around 1 p.m. she said.

A rep did not immediately respond to THR‘s request for comment. Read the rest of this entry »


Michael Wolff: Trump Win Exposes Media’s Smug Failures

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Ads don’t work, polls don’t work, celebrities don’t work, media endorsements don’t work and ground games don’t work.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

The media turned itself into the opposition and, accordingly, was voted down as the new political reality emerged: Ads don’t work, polls don’t work, celebrities don’t work, media endorsements don’t work, ground games don’t work.

Not only did the media get almost everything about this presidential election wrong, but it became the central issue, or the stand-in for all those issues, that the great new American Trump Party voted against.

The transmutation of political identities has arguably devolved into two parties: the Trump one, the angry retro people, and the Media Party, representing the smug modern people, each anathema to and uncomprehending of the other. Certainly, there was no moment in the campaign where the Media Party did not see itself as a virtuous and, most often, determinative factor in the race. Given this, the chants of “CNN sucks” at Trump rallies should not have been entirely surprising.

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But they were. The media took this as a comment about press freedom rather than its own failure to read the zeitgeist. In fact, it largely failed to tell any story other than its own…

It all washed away. Beyonce. The tax returns. The theoretical blue wall. Trump as sexual predator. Putin. His shambolic debate performances. Hispanics. Indeed, every aspect of the media narrative, dust. This narrative not only did not diminish him, it fortified him. The criticism of Trump defined the people who were criticizing him, reliably giving the counter-puncher something to punch. It was a juicy target. The Media Party not only fashioned the takedown narrative and demanded a special sort of allegiance to it — Twitter serving as the orthodoxy echo chamber — but, suspending most ordinary conflict rules, according to the Center for Public Integrity, gave lots of cash to Hillary. The media turned itself into the opposition and, accordingly, was voted down… Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] REWIND: Jerry Lewis on Film Criticism; Pauline Kael

JERRY LEWIS: “Pauline Kael. She’s never said a good thing about me yet. That dirty old broad. But she’s probably the most qualified critic in the world. Cause she cares about film and those who are involved in it. I wish I could really rap her. But I can’t. Cause she’s very very competent. She’s knows what she’s talking about.”

editor-commen-deskEditor’s note: I stumbled upon this at Roger Ebert’s site while searching in vain for Pauline Kael’s 1974 New Yorker review of Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” – often referred to in lists of Kael’s most notorious “got it wrong” reviews. Because Chinatown (along with the Godfather series) sparked my interest in the 1970s  renaissance in American filmmaking, I watched and studied Chinatown endlessly, I’m particularly interested in Kael’s contrarian view of it. I haven’t found yet, it may not be online. So unless I track it down in one of Kael’s books – or a reader is kind enough to point me to it – I’ll have to simply enjoy the things I found instead of what I was originally looking for.

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Primarily, things other critics have said about Kael, and her book “I Lost it at the Movies”. In particular, this interview. On Ebert’s site I found this Jerry Lewis appearance on the Dick Caveat Show, and it’s marvelous! An unexpected show of admiration for film reviewers.

What impressed me is Jerry’s acceptance of even the harshest criticism of his movies, as long as the critic actually took the time to examine the work, and wrote a serious analysis of the movie he made. Otherwise, he had no patience for it. Read the rest of this entry »


Referring To The Only Skill He Has, Obama Blames Poor Communication Skills for Electoral Losses

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Democrats might have held onto one or both houses of Congress if only Americans better understood the strength of the economic recovery, President Barack Obama said in an interview published Thursday.

“I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter. Then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

“I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” Obama remarked in a New York Times Magazine interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

The U.S. economy is in a better state after the recession than the American people realize, Obama suggested.

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“I actually compare our economic performance to how, historically, countries that have wrenching financial crises perform,” he said. “By that measure, we probably managed this better than any large economy on Earth in modern history.”

“I can probably tick off three or four common-sense things we could have done where we’d be growing a percentage or two faster each year. We could have brought down the unemployment rate lower, faster. We could have been lifting wages even faster than we did.”

The president also expressed regret that, in three successive years, his administration was not able to kick-start “a massive infrastructure project,” adding that 2012, 2013 and 2014 “was the perfect time to do it; low interest rates, construction industry is still on its heels, massive need — the fact that we failed to do that, for example, cost us time.

“It meant that there were folks who we could have helped and put back to work and entire communities that could have prospered that ended up taking a lot longer to recover,” Obama said. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Virus of the Mind’! ‘Ten Years‘: The Controversial Hong Kong Independent Film that China Doesn’t Want You to See

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Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times has called ‘Ten Years,’ comprising vignettes that reveal a dystopic vision of Hong Kong’s future in which political freedoms have been eroded by China’s control, a “virus of the mind.”

Patrick Brzeski reports: The most talked-about recent film phenomenon in Hong Kong centers on the territory’s tiniest local release. The dark, provocative indie drama Ten Years was produced on a microbudget of $75,000 and opened in December at a single cinema in Hong Kong’s Yau Ma Tei district. A surprise run of sellout screenings resulted in the movie beating the local per-screen average of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opened the following day.

Ten Years comprises five shorts — all set in the year 2025, and each directed by a different Hong Kong filmmaker — that explore ways in which life in the territory might change during the next decade. Collectively, the vignettes reveal a dystopic vision of Hong Kong’s future in which human rights and political freedoms in the semiautonomous territory have been eroded by the incursion of mainland China’s control.

[Read the full story here, at Hollywood Reporter]

The film struck an immediate chord among a Hong Kong populace worried about its future.

“Many in the audience told us they hadn’t gone to the cinema to watch a movie for a long time,” says Jevons Au Man-Kit, one of the film’s five directors. “But they came to support Ten Years. It was more than just a movie to them — it’s about their home.” Read the rest of this entry »


TV Ratings: Democrats Bring 8 Viewers in Broadcast’s First Debate

Forced to shift at least some of its focus in the wake of Friday’s devastating terrorist attacks in Paris, the second debate between the Democratic presidential candidates otherwise went ahead as scheduled on CBS….(read more)

Source: Hollywood Reporter


Wes Craven, Creator of the Nightmare on Elm Street Movies, Dies Aged 76 

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Creator of the ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ and ‘Scream’ movies.

Acclaimed Hollywood horror maestro Wes Craven, director of classics like the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream movie series, died on Sunday in his Los Angeles home.

The 76-year-old director passed away after a lengthy battle with brain cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Craven is best known for creating the iconic character Freddy Kruger, one of the best-recognized horror villains ever, in his five Nightmare on Elm Street movies — which he said were inspired by a cemetery opposite his childhood home on Elm Street in suburban Cleveland.

[THR]

Source: TIME


Fox’s Roger Ailes: Jon Stewart’s Sugar Daddy Comedy Supplier Sends the Departing Host Home with a Taste of His Own Medicine

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Roger Ailes: a smile and a knife in the ribs

“He’s been after us for years. Occasionally we pay attention. We think he’s funny. We never took it seriously and he never made a dent in us.”

Paul Bond writes: As Jon Stewart‘s final Daily Show approaches, the comedian has mercilessly mocked Fox News Channel, even comparing Roger Ailes to Death. It’s almost like he’s daring the network’s chairman and CEO to respond. Now, he has.

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“He’s a brilliant comedian. He’s actually a very nice guy, and I saw him with his kids on the street. He’s a good father. He has a bitter view of the world and you see it embodied in how he’s reacting to Fox News, equating it with death.”

“He’s been after us for years. Occasionally we pay attention. We think he’s funny. We never took it seriously and he never made a dent in us,” Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter after being contacted on Wednesday.

“He’s feeling unrewarded because Fox News beats him on the amount of money we make, on ratings and on popularity. I’m sure it’s very depressing when he sits home at night and worries about it. We never did.”

The Fox News chief added: “As he faces the end of his career, he’s beginning to wonder: ‘Is this as popular as I’m ever going to get? Is this as much power as I’ll ever have? The one person I could never get rid of was Roger Ailes. I tried. I did everything I could.’ This was all a plea to his lefty friends. I think he’s disappointed that he didn’t accomplish that goal, and we, of course, supplied him with half of his comedy. It’s just a matter of disappointment.”

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“As he faces the end of his career, he’s beginning to wonder: ‘Is this as popular as I’m ever going to get? Is this as much power as I’ll ever have? The one person I could never get rid of was Roger Ailes. I tried. I did everything I could.’ This was all a plea to his lefty friends. I think he’s disappointed that he didn’t accomplish that goal, and we, of course, supplied him with half of his comedy. It’s just a matter of disappointment.”

During his show last week, Jon Stewart showed a clip of the Ingmar Bergman movie, The Seventh Seal, only he substituted Ailes for the Death character. Ailes told THR he hadn’t seen the segment, but he isn’t surprised at the vitriol aimed at him.

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“You can’t say that many negative things about people unless you’re really unhappy about something.  actually think he doesn’t dislike me. We met once or twice. I talked to him for an hour once in my office. I think he’s really smart and he’s got a great future.”

“He’s feeling unrewarded because Fox News beats him on the amount of money we make, on ratings and on popularity. I’m sure it’s very depressing when he sits home at night and worries about it. We never did,” Ailes said. Read the rest of this entry »


Without Riots, CNN Primetime Slips to Third Place Behind MSNBC

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John Nolte reports: Other than the political benefits for central planning-Democrats that come from civil unrest in America’s inner-cities, another reason CNN president Jeff Zucker has turned his cable news network into a relentless hate machine is simple greed — the power and money that comes from increased ratings.

Riot police clear demonstrators from a street in Ferguson

There is no questions that CNN’s dishonest but ongoing smear campaigns against Christiansconservatives and the police have stolen left-of-center viewers from MSNBC. The two left-wing networks share a very small piece of viewer pie, and when CNN is ginning up hate and civil unrest, CNN usually wins a larger piece of that pie than MSNBC.

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Alternately, when CNN cannot find something cynical to exploit, MSNBC picks up a bigger piece of that pie. Read the rest of this entry »


Box Office: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Opens to Record $33.9M in China Tuesday

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Furious 7 finally pulled to the side of the road in China to make way for JossWhedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which opened to a record-breaking $33.9 million on Tuesday, the biggest weekday opening of all time.

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It’s also Disney and Marvel’s biggest opening day ever in China, exceeding the first two days of The Avengers in May 2012. All told, Age of Ultron commanded nearly 96 percent of the marketplace. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Louis C.K.: ‘Older People are Smarter’


Footage from Louis CK‘s Oh My God Comedy Special

 


Louis C.K. to Direct, Star in Indie Film

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Borys Kit writes: Louis C.K., the comedian who has conquered the small screen with his low-key, angst-ridden FX show Louie, is returning to the land of movies.

And mirroring Louie, C.K. will perform triple-duties for the film — writing, directing and starring in the indie I’m a Cop, which is being produced by heavyweight producer Scott Rudin.

“I don’t feel like I need anyone to tell me anything with a TV show because I know exactly what I’m doing, but I’d be arrogant to think that I can take someone’s $8 million and just turn in a movie. Movies are different. There’s a permanency to them.”

Rudin is producing with Dave Becky and Blair Breard, the latter an exec producer on C.K.’s Louie as well as a couple of the comedian’s specials, including the upcoming Louis C.K. Live From the Comedy Store.

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“I was dealing with people every day whose pressures I didn’t understand, and I wasn’t very nice about how I said no to them. I put myself in a position I didn’t have to be in. A lot of what makes this kind of stuff work is empathy.”

The script tells of a depressed middle-aged man who is a volunteer police officer living in the shadow of his mother, a highly decorated retired officer. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’: Hundreds of German Theaters Boycotting Marvel Film

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Ryan Gajewski reports: The heroes of Avengers: Age of Ultron won’t be assembling at a number of German theaters.

“We are worried, particularly about eastern Germany. When prices go up, then we have a serious problem that could force movie theaters to close.”

—  Karl-Heinz Meier, spokesman for advocacy group I.G. Nord

Theaters in 193 small towns in Germany are refusing to screen the Marvel blockbuster, citing Disney‘s raised rental fee for the film, according to German publication Deutsche Welle. In total, the film is being kept from 686 screens.

Cinema owners told DW that they were taken aback when Disney announced it was upping the fee from 47.7 to 53 percent of ticket sales. Additionally, Disney is cutting its advertising spend and will not provide advances for 3D glasses. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Child Star Sawyer Sweeten Commits Suicide

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Ben Brumfield reports: Sawyer Sweeten grew up before the eyes of millions as a child star on the endearing family sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Early Thursday he committed suicide, his sister Madylin Sweeten said in a statement.

He was 19.

“We are devastated to report that our beloved brother, son, and friend, Sawyer Sweeten, took his own life. He was weeks away from his 20th birthday. At this sensitive time, our family requests privacy and we beg of you to reach out to the ones you love.”

“This morning a terrible family tragedy has occurred,” Madylin Sweeten said in a statement passed on by her manager Dino May.

“We are devastated to report that our beloved brother, son, and friend, Sawyer Sweeten, took his own life. He was weeks away from his 20th birthday. At this sensitive time, our family requests privacy and we beg of you to reach out to the ones you love.”

Sweeten, best known for his role Geoffrey Barone, was visiting family in Texas, entertainment industry magazine Hollywood Reporter reported, where he is believed to have shot himself on the front porch.

Sawyer Sweeten was born in May 1995 in Brownwood, Texas. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Dating Naked’ Contestant’s Lawsuit: ‘Signed Agreements Aren’t Trumped by Oral Promises’

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In reaction to the lawsuit, the defendants said that the former stripper was once comfortable with the show’s premise

…Nizewitz, 28, filed the complaint in New York Supreme Court last August, alleging she “suffered and continues to suffer severe extreme emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation and embarrassment” from having her private parts broadcast to a national audience.

“At a hearing last week, New York Supreme Court justice Anil Singh agreed with the defendants that Nizewitz had consented to be on Dating Naked with knowledge of what it would entail. The signed agreements aren’t trumped by the supposed oral promises. Singh read her ruling from the bench.”

In reaction to the lawsuit, the defendants including Lighthearted Entertainment and Firelight Entertainment said that the former stripper was once comfortable with the show’s premise. Before casting her, producers made her consent to being filmed in the nude and allow the footage to be telecast without restriction. “Unfettered nudity,” said the producers, “was a crucial aspect of the program.”

The plaintiff argued in turn that while she may have signed away consent, she also had an oral agreement with producers promising a blurring. She also contended that gross negligence couldn’t prospectively be waived. Read the rest of this entry »


Katherine Timpf: Actually, Red-Carpet Reporters Should Ask What You’re Wearing

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Katherine Timpfpage_2014_200_timpf writes: According to the people behind the #AskHerMore social-media campaign, the red carpet is sexist because reporters ask women about their clothing and appearance more often than they ask men.

“There’s an element of being an actress in Hollywood, it’s like worsening a product,” Jennifer Siebel Newsom, founder and CEO of the Representation Project that started the campaign, told The Hollywood Reporter.

“People actually do care about what these actresses are wearing. A lot of people get their fashion and beauty tips from celebrities — the amount of television programs, websites, and magazine articles about this very subject proves that.”

“It’s like you’re a prostitute,” she continued. “It’s like you owe someone something and you don’t.”

The Official Fainting Couch

The Official Fainting Couch

[Read the full text of Katherine Timpf‘s article here, at National Review]

The idiocy of her notion that having to deal with someone asking you where you got your bajillion dollar gown is like working in the sex industry is asinine  — and so is the idea that these celebrities don’t owe anyone anything in this situation, especially considering how many of them get their gowns for free or even have the designers paying them to wear their clothes.

“The idiocy of her notion that having to deal with someone asking you where you got your bajillion dollar gown is like working in the sex industry is asinine…”

As New York Times fashion director and critic Vanessa Friedman Tweeted: “Sorry #AskHerMore, but the red carpet is a prison of actresses’ own making. They profited, literally, from it for a long time. #Oscars2015”

And as Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan tweeted, even if they aren’t getting the gown free, the people who made it still deserve some credit: “#askhermore frankly, I’d like to know who’s responsible for the incredible gowns that a village of artisans worked on for 100s of hours.” Read the rest of this entry »


Clint Eastwood in Talks to Direct ‘American Sniper’

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Eastwood is in early talks to direct the movie, based on the autobiography of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Steven Spielberg was previously on board to direct the project but left earlier this month after he and the studio couldn’t come to agreement on a budget. (The parting of ways was quite amicable, according to several sources.) Bradley Cooper is attached to star and has been developing the project as a producer.

If a deal is made, that puts Eastwood in a tight schedule squeeze. The veteran filmmaker is about to begin directing Jersey Boys, the adaptation of the Broadway musical about the rise and fall of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Sniper must shoot early next year because of Cooper’s many commitments. But Eastwood is famously known for his short and efficient shoots, so the studio has no fear that he won’t be able to pull it off.

Sniper is an adaptation of Kyle’s book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. It reveals how Kyle came to record the highest number of sniper kills for an American. The book has been praised for its frankness in telling a first-person account of a warrior who shoots from far and close distances.

Kyle was killed at a shooting range by a fellow veteran in February.

Twitch first reported the news.

Source: Clint Eastwood in Talks to Direct ‘American Sniper’– The Hollywood Reporter