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The Mystery of Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino

by
March 19, 2008
Source: Variety

Clint Eastwood

No, I'm not talking about the old Ford like the one driven by Starsky & Hutch. Gran Torino, according to Variety, is apparently the next film that Clint Eastwood will direct and - get this - play a leading role. The 77-year-old is returning to his thespian roots, despite the general understanding that he had pretty much retired from acting after Million Dollar Baby. The mystery doesn't stop there since we have virtually no details about the upcoming film, except that Torino is scheduled for a quick December release this year. Adding to this puzzle is the fact that Eastwood's The Changeling is due out just one month prior to Tornino. Very strange.

Plot details of the upcoming project aside, I'm more interested in why Eastwood is taking an acting role again. Last year, Paul Haggis, writer/director of the Oscar nominated In the Valley of Elah, told EW.com that he actually considered Eastwood for the role played by Tommy Lee Jones. Eastwood turned down the idea, stating, "Well, Paul, I was in retirement, I came out of it to do Million Dollar Baby. I don't think I can go out better, do you?"

So why the return? There must be something about Gran Torino that has piqued the legend's interest. An undocumented quote on Eastwood's Wikipedia page has him stating at one point, "if a good western script turns up, you never know." Hhmm…

Eastwood certainly has an affinity for westerns, though much of his recent work has not dealt with that time period. He last directed the World War II-era films Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. And The Changeling is a period piece set in the 1920s. So does Gran Torino sound like a western to you? Equally confusing is the fact that Warner Brothers hasn't exactly officially announced the film, opting instead to quietly slate the film for a December release. Why all the mystery?

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  • Spider
    Whether he's starring or directing, Clint Eastwood is STILL the man!!!
  • REAL6
    GOD I HOPE ITS A WESTERN AND HE DOES IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Zach D.
    I too hope it's a Western. If anything can bring attention to westerns again, it's Clint Eastwood.
  • kevin
    Remake the original!! Clint directs and either Colin Farrel or Hugh Jackman as Harry!!
  • Mr Blifil
    I was fortunate enough to get a look at the script recently. Trust me it has nothing to do with Dirty Harry. Why any of you would want to see a 77-year old man beating the snot out of people for 2+ hours is beyond me. There's a reason Clint took on this project. It's a pretty good script.
  • rose
    my husband has a yellow and black torina 72 if clint wants to use it in his movie he's welcome it a beautiful car but my husband say's if he crashes it he pays for it
  • Read the small Hmong newspapers which are full of coverage about Gran Torino. This movie is going to feature a cast of Hmong, complete unknowns. Eastwood stars as a disaffected Korean War vet who gets involved in the life of some Hmong teenagers to keep them from being recruited by a Hmong gang, and his outlook is softened in the process.
  • KaZ
    That's right, no one knows who Hmong people are, because to save face America chose not to speak of the Hmong people in history books and in studies of the Vietnam War. That's what's so fucked up about America, and around here, none of the Asians can easily step up to fame in America unless you really knew hardcore stuff like Chinese martial artist Jet Li. I've gone to love Clint Eastwood because he knows and has appreciated the Hmong people, and decides to bring the of one of the most quiet, unknown, and unappreciated culture in America to the big screen. This movie I heard from my grandma is going to really express the culture of the Hmong people and would be the first. My grandma's actually starring in this movie and is probably going to be the teenager's grandmother. These days, we've got too many movies about western life. I think Eastwood's wanting to show his love for being an American and appreciating the diverse cultures in America. It's about time there's an American movie depicting the lives of the Hmong people, and to help me spread the name of the Hmong people.
  • karen
    I cannot appreciate enough what Mr.Eastwood is doing for my people. What he is doing is giving the Hmong people a chance to be known and be part of the whole society that doesn't even know we exist. To have a major movie star know who the Hmong people are is such an honor. Not even a typical person you see will know who the Hmong people are. When I was younger, people would mistake me for Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, or the other more well known Asians. When I told them that I was Hmong, they would ask me what Hmong is and what country I am from. I didn't know how to answer their questions. Often times I would be teased because i had no country or because they have never heard of the Hmong people before. One sad thing is even my own second grade teacher didn't know who the Hmong are. We had to write a book and at the end of the book, we had to write an "About the Author". I wrote that my parent's came from Laos but we were Hmong. But she changed it into that my parent's were Laotion. I was surprised because there were four other Hmong kids in that class and she doesn't even realize that we were Hmong. Over all, I truly do appreciate what Mr. Eastwood is doing. Thanks so much, Mr. Eastwood, and I'm also sure that I speak for the whole Hmong people when I say this.
  • Tsimnuj Hawj
    That's so messed up, Karen. :[
  • mai
    I hated this movie! It was awful! I hate how they showed everything here about my own culture. It's so not true. First of all, Hmong kids do now want no Gran Torino! They want import cars. I have to say that there's so many people that hated that movie! I am one of the many.
  • WAS EASTWOOD A REAL VET???
  • patrick purcell
    CLINT EASTWOOD IS A MASTER AT EVERY THING HE DOSE, AS HE GETS OLDER, MOVIES LIKE HE DOING IS WERE HE SHOULD BE, I THING HIS SON KYLE SHOULD BRING BACK DIRTY HARRY ,IN TO THE DAYS WORLD, WE SURE COULD USE SOME HARRYS OUT THERE, ON THE FORCES, THIS WORLD OF CRIME IS GONE MAD WE NEED SOME ONE TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND PUT A STOP TO CRIME .AS WOULD CLINT WOULD SAY GO A HEAD MAKE MY DAY .

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