Gran Torino

Warner Bros.



In a surprise move, Clint Eastwood is kicking his way into the December movie calendar.

Warner Bros. is releasing his new movie "The Mule," which he directed and stars in, on December 14. The four-time Oscar winner finished the film early and studio executives were reportedly wowed by the cut he showed them this weekend.

In "The Mule," Eastwood stars as Earl Stone, a man in his 80s who is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business. Unbeknownst to him, he takes a job as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel — landing him on the radar of a DEA agent (Bradley Cooper). While Earl's money problems vanish, his past mistakes start to weigh heavily on him but he may not have time to correct them before law enforcement or the cartel catch up to him.

This is Eastwood's first screen role since 2012's "Trouble With the Curve." And while this may seem like Oscar bait, reports indicate "The Mule" is more similar to 2008's "Gran Torino," which also opened in December and became a major box office hit. Still, you can never count Eastwood out of awards consideration.