CinemaCon: Clint Eastwood Takes Aim at Michael Moore, Reflects on 'American Sniper' Success

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Clint Eastwood

The 'American Sniper' helmer spoke to THR's Stephen Galloway during an event at the Las Vegas convention Wednesday.

When he was honored at an event at CinemaCon Wednesday, Clint Eastwood shared thoughts on his acting career, his interest in directing and one of his most vocal critics: Michael Moore.

The American Sniper helmer, who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Galloway at the annual convention, told the crowd that he had been asked many times about Moore's comments against his war drama.

"Everyone is saying I threatened to kill Michael Moore – that's not true ... but it isn't a bad idea," he joked, getting a big laugh from the crowd.

"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.

The director, who has never met Moore, added: "Any way you look at it, it's his opinion. That's what's great about this country — you can think about it any way you want."

Eastwood told plenty of jokes and stories about his long and varied career, and also what's up next for him. While he was recently eyed to helm Fox's untitled Richard Jewell biopic, Eastwood said that it would likely no longer be his next project. It seems a deal to bring Warners aboard the project as a partner has failed to materialize. The movie stars Jonah Hill as the heroic security guard who helped save numerous lives during the bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Eastwood reflected on his long and varied career in the talk, naming the film that changed his formative years (Sergeant York) and which of his own films he loved the most (Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby and The Outlaw Josey Wales).

When asked if he's every had any interest in revisiting one of his older movies, Eastwood said he would not go back to any of them. He revealed that there was a time that someone was considering a remake of Play Misty for Me.

"It would be fun to do again but I'd probably screw it up," said Eastwood.

The director — whose previous directorial projects include Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino — spoke at length about the success of his war drama American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper. The Oscar-nominated American Sniper, from Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, has earned $347.8 million to date domestically. Globally, it has grossed $541.2 million, making it the most successful war film of all time.

When asked why he thought the film was such a success, Eastwood said it focused on a topic that's very much a part of the conversation today.

"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."