The “American Sniper” star and its director could play opposite each other in a crime drama from the writer behind another Eastwood project, “Gran Torino.”
Bradley Cooper, nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Clint Eastwood’s 2014 film “American Sniper”, is expected to reunite with the Hollywood movie icon who would be both in front of and behind the camera in “The Mule.”
The film is based on a newspaper article about Leo Sharp, an 87-year-old World War II veteran who is a horticulturalist reknowned for his expertly-refined daylilies and, as it turns out, a prolific drug smuggler.
The original New York Times Magazine story recounted the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) effort to break “the biggest cocaine operation Detroit authorities had ever seen,” and identified Sharp as “the most prolific drug mule that regional law enforcement had ever tracked.”
When the internet changed the face of the daylily industry, Sharp’s flower-growing business suffered immeasurably. It is thought that he was approached by a Mexican cartel during this period.
Sharp, dubbed Tata (“Grandfather”), became something of a legend for his unusually good health, his aptitude for driving long and risky routes, and his general affability.
Eastwood would play the Sharp character, renamed Earl Stone for the movie, with Cooper expected to play Colin Bates, the DEA agent responsible for his capture.
Nick Schenk, who has become something of a crime drama specialist, wrote 2008 Eastwood movie “Gran Torino” as well as the 2014 Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall film “The Judge”. He has since been credited on episodes of “Narcos” and “Manhunt: Unabomber”, as well as motorbike company biographical series “Harley and the Davidsons”.
Clint Eastwood, whose directorial career began in the 1970s, last played a lead character in a film in 2012’s “Trouble with the Curve”, and before that “Gran Torino”, which he also directed. He had an uncredited cameo in “American Sniper”.