Sammy Sheik as Mustafa in Clint Eastwood's 2014 film "American Sniper."
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An award-winning filmmaker is developing what he describes as an “anti-war” response to American Sniper, Clint Eastwood’s 2014 blockbuster film about real-life Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s legendary exploits, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The project is being developed by Amr Salama, an Egyptian director whose films have garnered widespread international acclaim (and condemnation from Egypt’s government) for their controversial depictions of Egyptian life. His latest film, Sheikh Jackson, centers on an Islamic cleric obsessed with Michael Jackson.
Salama’s upcoming project is a direct rebuke of American Sniper. The film’s working title is Iraqi Sniper, and fans of Eastwood’s film will likely recognize the actor attached as the lead: Sammy Sheik, who played Mustafa, an elusive insurgent sniper and chief adversary to Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper.
“He’s the hero in my film,” Salama told The Hollywood Reporter. “I hated [American Sniper]. That was my inspiration. I hated it so much that I wanted to work on a different version of that story.” Adding, “I’m trying to make an anti-war film. Whereas American Sniper was pro-war.”
The Mustafa character was based on a mythical sniper who fought with the Sunni insurgent group Islamic Army in Iraq. Known only as “Juba,” he was rumored to have killed hundreds of people, including American soldiers, at the height of the Iraq War. Juba was only active for two years and his existence has never been officially verified.
Several videos allegedly showing Juba in action only fueled the legend. One video included footage of at least a dozen attacks on U.S. troops, all of them attributed to the elusive sniper. In that video, “Juba” claims to have killed 143 American soldiers. In another, he threatens to kill President George W. Bush.
The Juba myth, which experts suggest was nothing more than insurgent propaganda, was extremely effective. A 2005 Guardian article, “Elusive sniper saps US morale in Baghdad,” features interviews with deployed U.S. service members who paint a picture of a prolific sniper “who waits for soldiers to dismount, or stand up in a Humvee turret, and aims for gaps in their body armor, the lower spine, ribs or above the chest.”
Iraqi Sniper is still in the script stage of development. Acclaimed Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy, who is also working on the project, told The Hollywood Reporter that he is confident the film will have “international appeal.”
“This story merits to be told even if American Sniper hadn’t come out,” Hefzy said. “He’s a very interesting character, a complex character. Amr did a lot of research and we’re trying to get his evolution right.”
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.
In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.
The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.
The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.