New Clint Eastwood Movie is a Celebration of Real American Heroes

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Clint Eastwood is a conservative actor, director and producer in Hollywood. He has directed over 50 films and produced some wonderful and heartwarming inspired war films – Hacksaw Ridge, Flags of Our Father and American Sniper. His movie about Chris Kyle, the “American Sniper” earned him several Oscar nominations in 2014. Eastwood is brilliant to say the least.

From director Clint Eastwood, comes an incredible true story portrayed by the actual heroes who lived it. This February, in the face of fear, ordinary people can do the extraordinary.

Back in April, it was announced that Clint Eastwood would be producing another movie about heroes, “15:17 to Paris.”  It’s based on the three friends in 2015 who charged Moroccan national Ayoub El Khazzani, a terrorist with an assault rifle on a Paris train and prevented several hundred from being injured. The terrorist was later found with enough ammunition to kill at least 500 people.

Clint Eastwood’s latest film “The 15:17 to Paris” tells the story of these three U.S. citizens who stopped a terrorist attack on a train in 2015.

On August 21, 2015, Anthony Sadler, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, and U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone overpowered a heavily armed gunman who had opened fire on a high-speed train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris, according to The Guardian.

The film is based on the book the three men wrote on the experience, and the newly released trailer shows scenes of their friendship, childhood and trip to Europe, according to The New York Times.

In Eastwood’s last dramatization of a real life rescue, the 2016 film “Sully,” he recruited Tom Hanks to be the hero. This time, he has recruited the actual men to act as themselves.

“I had looked at a lot of actors, good actors, but I was looking at the guys and I kept looking at their faces and finally one day I just said, do you guys think you could play yourselves?” Eastwood told the U.K. Telegraph. “And the more they thought about it, the more they got with it.”

While none of them have acting experience, stars such as Jenna Fischer of “The Office,” and Judy Greer of “The Descendants” are shown in the trailer.

“It turned out they (all) had a natural gift, and it also was a bit of a catharsis for them to go back and relive the moment,” Eastwood added.

In a behind the scenes video by the Telegraph, Sadler said, “It’s kind of like living it twice. We’ve experienced something amazing so it’s coming full circle.”

“The whole thing has been kind of mind blowing for me; to be referred to as heroes is kind of a trip,” Skarlatos added. “And to be honest we are just incredibly grateful we survived that day.”

Eastwood concluded that “it hasn’t been a conscious choice to make movies about heroes, but this is an interesting story about regular people doing extraordinary things.”

The three heroes were likely quite pleased by the filmmaker’s decision to direct “The 15:17 to Paris,” given their past experiences with him. Last year, Eastwood presented the three with a “Hero Award” at the 2016 Guys Choice Awards show.

“I’m such a huge Clint Eastwood fan,” Skarlatos later told People magazine. “I’ve seen all of his movies growing up. Actually meeting him in person, having him give us the award. Then we talked with him for like 10 minutes afterwards. It was one of the coolest experiences that has happened to us so far.”

“The narrative is often, ‘Oh, yeah, the military is why these guys were able to do that,’ but I think the book portrays us as just the three regular friends, twenty-something friends that we were, and that we were just put in an extraordinary situation,” he said.

“The circumstances just kind of fell into place where we were able to act and not only save ourselves, but everybody else,” he added.

Clint Eastwood has a knack for telling great heart warming stories of war heroes and soldiers. In 2014, Eastwood directed the film, American Sniper about Navy Seal Chris Kyle.  Chris Kyle became one of the deadliest marksman in the military in history with 255 kills in four tours in Iraq. As you can imagine with anyone, the tours took a toll on Chris’ life and family.

Eastwood has also directed other movies such as “Heartbreak Ridge”, “Flags of Our Fathers”, and “Letters From Iwo Jima.” In fact, he’s directed over 50 films and starred in over 40 in the last 50 years. Of course, some of my favorites are some of the older movies – Dirty Harry, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Every Which Way But Loose, and Heartbreak Ridge. Eastwood seems to have a knack at not only picking a good story -whether western, action, comedy or drama, but then transforming it into a heartwarming story of heroes, that as Americans we can all enjoy. That’s a lot more than I can say for some of the other trash coming out of Hollywood.

The “15:17 To Paris” with the tagline “In the face of fear, ordinary people can do the extraordinary” is set to open on February 9, 2018.

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