For the past few months we’ve become used to the sight of a more beefy, beardy Bradley Cooper, but now the time has finally come to see the actor’s new look in action, as the first trailer for American Sniper has landed. Yes Bradley’s transformation was all so he could look the part of real life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, known as the most lethal sniper in US history.

Bradley Cooper Bradley Cooper stars in American Sniper as Chris Kyle

Directed by Clint Eastwood and produced by Cooper, American Sniper is based on Kyle’s memoir ‘American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History’. The film has been in development since 2012, a year before Kyle’s tragic death at a Texas shooting range.

Earlier this week Cooper told USA Today how lucky he felt to be awarded the chance to speak to Kyle before his death. “Thank God I got to talk to him once on the phone. It was a very quick conversation. But I did tell him how serious I was about making this movie,” the actor said. “And he should just know that whatever fears he had about Hollywood, to just put them aside and trust me. That I was going to do everything I could to tell this story.”

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The just under two minute trailer is certainly one of the most intense movie clips we’ve seen in a long time but it certainly sets the tone for what looks like an intriguing, action filled drama. In the clip, Cooper as Kyle is waiting on a roof in Iraq monitoring the unidentified people moving near a convoy of soldiers.

Watch the trailer for American Sniper:

When a woman and child appear we hear Kyle saying, “Hold on, I got a woman and a kid 200 yards out, moving towards the convoy,” he says with alarm. “Her arms aren’t swinging, she’s carrying something. She’s got a grenade, she’s got an RKG Russian grenade she’s handing to the kid…”

Kyle is then told it’s his call, as images of his family race through his head and his spotter tells him, “They’ll fry you if you’re wrong.”

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With a limited release beginning on Christmas day, this probably isn't the festive family film you were looking for. But with a superb cast which includes Jake McDorman, Luke Grimes and Sienna Miller, an intriguing real life story and Clint Eastwood behind the camera, it should be the first thing you tick off the 2015 to do list.

American Sniper hits theatres on Christmas Day in a limited release before expanding nationwide on January 16.

American Sniper Poster