Chad Michael Collins credits his parents for his casting as the lead of “Sniper: Reloaded.” The folks provided (among other things, of course) just the right DNA for Collins to resemble the young Tom Berenger.
“I did a film for Sony, ‘Lake Placid 2,'” explains the handsome actor, “and when the producer wanted to get a reboot of the ‘Sniper’ franchise up, he kept me in mind. He said, ‘Chad has such a physical likeness to Tom Berenger, we could use him for an origin story.”
The thought, initially, was to have Collins in flashback scenes as Berenger’s character during the Vietnam War. Later, plans shifted toward a new contemporary story instead, with Collins playing the estranged son of Berenger’s character from the 1990s’ “Sniper” films — and Billy Zane back as his partner, Richard Miller. The actioner, being released on DVD and Blu-Ray today (4/26) by Sony, has Collins as a Marine leading a UN peace-keeping mission in war-torn Congo — a mission that goes harrowingly wrong, and forces him into reluctantly using his innate gift for marksmanship.
The film is “wide open” for a sequel, according to Collins, and “me and Billy are both excited to entertain the idea.” A fan of the original movies, he also enjoys entertaining the idea of a possible encounter with Berenger at some point, but for now his attention is on the first movie.
They shot in South Africa over five weeks, in a “a really majestic location,” Collins says. “The wildlife was incredible.” His role was extremely physical — lots of “running, jumping, fighting, shooting guns and clawing through dirt” as he puts it. But that suited Collins just fine. He recently guested on “CSI: Miami” as an Ultimate Fighting Champion, and looked the part.