Mark Wahlberg has completely reinvented himself since his days of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. He has appeared in nearly 60 movies to date and one of my personal favorites, Shooter, actually came out 14 years ago this month. Did you know though that his character, Bob Lee Swagger, was supposed to be a Vietnam vet but due to his young age, they changed his role for the film?
To celebrate the upcoming anniversary, here are some more random facts about the film.
William Goldman, Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, and Harrison Ford all passed on the movie before Wahlberg was cast.
Author Stephen Hunter introduced Swagger as a Vietnam vet in the novel with the events taking place in 1992. Due to Wahlberg’s age, the film was rewritten so he was active in Africa in the 90’s as opposed to Vietnam in the 70’s.
Via The Baltimore Sun/Lloyd Fox Stephen Hunter named Bob Lee Swagger after his longtime friend and colleague Weyman Dexter Swagger. The two worked together at the Baltimore Sun and it was Swagger who introduced Hunter to shooting and gun culture.
During the mountain top confrontation at the end of the film, Swagger kills one of the snipers by shooting through the counter-sniper through his scope. This is based upon the infamous kill by U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock during the Vietnam War.
The large caliber rifle that Swagger owns and is framed with is a Cheyenne Tactical M200 Intervention. It can fire a .408 caliber projectile accurately beyond 2000 meters.
Mark Wahlberg had to lose twenty pounds to give Swagger the slim look of a field sniper.
In the film, Swagger fashions a silencer out of a water bottle and some moss. In reality, this would actually work on a gun and would dampen the sound.
Via Dead Air Silencers While the water bottle was a cool idea for the film, it is definitely not the best way to suppress a shot. Unfortunately for Swagger, Dead Air Silencers did not come onto the scene until 2008. Dead Air takes no shortcuts in their production and manufacturing and only offers the best materials as their hard-use silencers are made with 100% Stellite baffles. If you want to take your hunting and long-range shooting to the next level, do not sleep on Dead Air Silencers.
FBI Agent Nick Memphis uses a piece of plate iron under his clothing to stop a sniper’s bullet. The same trick is used by Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars (1964).
Keanu Reeves was the original choice to play Bob Lee Swagger.
Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, reportedly turned down the role of the villain in the film.
Swagger wears a Philadelphia Eagles jacket and hat when he is hiding from two policeman in Philadelphia. Coincidentally enough, Wahlberg also played Vince Papale in Invincible, a film about a bartender who plays for the Eagles.
The ranch shoot-out was supposed to be much more violent than what we got. The scenes were filmed but the MPAA deemed the scene to be too brutal and had it cut.
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