The first trailer for the highly anticipated and somewhat controversial “American Sniper” has been released, giving viewers their first look as actor Bradley Cooper playing Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who is billed as the sniper with the most confirmed kills in U.S. military history.
The movie is based on a best-selling book by the same name. It will likely depict some of the intense combat and sacrifice that Kyle saw during multiple deployments to Iraq, and his struggle to adjust to life at home in between. Kyle was shot to death on a Texas gun range in 2013, allegedly by a Marine veteran he was trying to help through post-traumatic stress.
In July, a Minnesota jury awarded $1.845 million in damagesto former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, deciding that he was defamed by Kyle for saying that he punched out Ventura in a bar in 2006 for saying that the SEALs “deserved to lose a few” in combat.
Kyle did not name the governor by name, but said he swung at a celebrity after he “started running his mouth about the war and everything and anything he could connect to it.” He later identified him as Ventura in interviews.
The reaction to the jury’s decision was extremely polarized, with some saying Ventura should have dropped his lawsuit after Kyle died and other saying the sniper shouldn’t have included inaccuracies in his book. The Kyle family has stood by the facts in the book.