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Haggis: Eastwood helped get 'Elah' made

  |   Sept. 14, 2007 at 8:15 PM
LOS ANGELES , Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Hollywood filmmaker Paul Haggis says his new movie, "In the Valley of Elah," probably wouldn't have been made without Clint Eastwood's help.

Haggis and Eastwood have collaborated on "Million Dollar Baby," "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima."

"In the Valley of Elah," a film about a soldier who goes missing after returning home from the Iraq War, screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and opens nationwide in the United States Sept. 21.

"I sent (Eastwood) the magazine article (that was the inspiration for the film,) and he actually helped me. He championed this and helped me get this made," Haggis told UPI. "He is the reason the film ended up at Warner Bros. because no other studio would make it in 2004 when I was taking this around. It was just way too risky for them."

The Oscar-winning writer of "Crash," who wrote and directed "Elah," said it was difficult to get the film financed because when he was shopping it around, President George W. Bush "had an 80 percent approval rating, so nobody wanted to talk about" what life is like for returning soldiers.

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