Clint Eastwood was honored at an event at CinemaCon Wednesday, where he looked back on his acting career, opened up about possible upcoming directing work, and finally addressed the loudest critic of his record-breaking film American Sniper: Michael Moore.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Eastwood finally addressed a decade-old controversy, regarding a speech he gave at the 2005 National Board of Review awards dinner.
According to Moore, back in January: “Ten years ago this past week, Clint Eastwood stood in front of the National Board of Review awards dinner and announced to me and to the crowd that he would “kill” me if I ever came to his house with my camera for an interview… ‘I’ll kill you,’ he declared.”
Eastwood told his audience at the annual convention Wednesday he had been asked about Moore’s comments many times since, and quipped, “Everyone is saying I threatened to kill Michael Moore – that’s not true … but ‘ it isn’t a bad idea.”
He continued: “Once years ago somebody asked me what I would do if a guy like [Moore] came to my house and started filming like they did with Charlton Heston … and I thought, well if he’s on your property, I guess you can shoot him,” he said.
“Any way you look at it, it’s his opinion,” the director said. “That’s what’s great about this country — you can think about it any way you want.”
Moore and Eastwood have never met, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
When asked about the success of American Sniper, Eastwood said the film’s story is one that audiences are familiar with.
“I think that for a lot of Americans, there’s been a lot of news in the last year about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and everybody has opinions on it,” he said. “Some of us think it’s a great idea and some of us don’t think it’s a great idea. There are a lot of questions, and that’s fun to broach.”
American Sniper has earned $347.8 million domestically and $541.2 million globally, and is the most successful war film of all time.
He was also asked if he has ever had interest in remaking one of his classic hits. Eastwood revealed at one point someone had considered a remake of Play Misty for Me, but noted: “It would be fun to do again but I’d probably screw it up.”
You can read Eastwood’s full comments here.