Sales from the newly released DVD of American Sniper are expected to generate a million dollars for the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a charitable organization founded to “honor and empower” U.S. veterans and armed service members who incurred a physical or mental injury after 9/11.
A Warner Bros. production company statement says that one dollar of each purchase of the DVD, between its release on Tuesday and December 31, will be donated to WWP, up to $1 million from sales.
American Sniper was based on the autobiography of Chris Kyle, a runaway bestseller which spent 18 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, 13 of those at number one. Kyle is thought to have been the most lethal Navy SEAL sniper in American history with 160 confirmed kills.
The blockbuster film, which was unabashedly pro-War on Terror, was a massive box office success and out-grossed every other film released in 2014, including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and Guardians of the Galaxy. The film grossed some $543 million worldwide.
According to The Christian Post, Kyle personally wanted Clint Eastwood to direct the film, and after his tragic death the producers approached Eastwood who agreed to sign on as director of the project.
Together with his friend, Chad Littlefield, Kyle was shot and killed by a Marine that he was trying to help overcome PTSD while at a Texas gun range in 2013, not long before the film went into production.
Chris Kyle was a Christian whose father served as a deacon and whose mother taught Sunday school. He believed in the morality of what he did as a Navy SEAL sniper, and felt that on Judgment Day he would have things to answer for, but that his service as a SEAL wouldn’t be one of them. In his autobiography, Kyle wrote:
I believe the fact that I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation. But in that backroom or whatever it is when God confronts me with my sins, I do not believe any of the kills I had during the war will be among them. Everyone I shot was evil. I had good cause on every shot. They all deserved to die.
Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore criticized the movie, calling snipers “cowards” who will shoot you in the back in a controversial tweet shortly after the film’s release.
My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 18, 2015
In a later interview, Moore defended his words, saying:
I’m proud of what I wrote. I take nothing back, and in fact I’ve only added more to it. I am not bullied by these people who bullied a whole nation into a senseless, illegal war. So really, in terms of impact, this has none on me. I say what I say. Of course if I were wrong, or made an error, I would certainly correct it, but that’s not the case here.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome