Three years after Academy-Award nominated “American Sniper” became a box office sensation, Egyptian director Amr Salama has his answer to the movie: “Iraqi Sniper.”
In “American Sniper,” Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle, a U.S. Navy SEAL and America’s deadliest sniper, with 160 confirmed kills and 255 probable kills. The film’s antagonist is an enemy sniper known as Mustafa, who’s described as “an Olympics marksman who was using his skills against Americans and Iraqi police and soldiers.”
Kyle’s character kills Mustafa with a long-range shot from more than a mile away. In real life, Kyle didn’t actually kill him, and the movie received criticism for embellishing the storyline.
Nonetheless, in a recent interview, Amr Salama revealed he got inspiration for “Iraqi Sniper” by watching “American Sniper.”
He said “I hated it. That was my inspiration — I hated it so much that I wanted to work on a different version of that story.”
His movie will feature Mustafa as the hero.
But don’t worry. Although the hero of the movie will be an insurgent sniper who’s thought to have hundreds of kills and gained notoriety by killing American troops, “Iraqi Sniper” intends no malice whatsoever.
Salama’s movie is going to be “anti-war … whereas American Sniper was pro-war.” Also, he expects the movie to have international appeal.
I can’t imagine how it wouldn’t have international appeal. I’m sure the victims of the recent truck attack in Barcelona will be lining up to celebrate Mustafa as a hero. I bet every family affected by 9/11 will buy their tickets early. The Pulse Nightclub survivors will probably throw a viewing party. Every friend and family member of the 158 people killed during the 2015 Paris terror attack won’t be able to stay away from a movie celebrating a sniper whose sole purpose was to kill Americans and their allies.
The fact that this movie is supposed to be one of peace and international appeal is an abhorrently ignorant sentiment. If Salama really believes he’s going to make a movie that celebrates an Iraqi sniper with American blood on his hands, I invite him to. “American Sniper” was a movie intended to celebrate the life of a valiant American hero who risked his life helping to liberate a country and a region. Unless “Iraqi Sniper” intends to celebrate liberation and life, Salama should toss the script.