Clint Eastwood movie about elderly Michigan City drug mule opens Friday

In "The Mule," Clint Eastwood plays Leo Sharp, a florist from Michigan City who became a notorious drug runner.

The story of a Northwest Indiana man who attained some renown as a horticulturist and went on to run drugs for the infamous Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico while in his 80s hits the silver screen Friday.

“The Mule,” directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, will be released nationwide, including at Region movie theaters like Showplace 16 in Schererville and the Goodrich Portage 16 IMAX.

Eastwood, the acclaimed director who made a name for himself playing gunslingers like The Man With No Name, "Dirty" Harry Callahan and Bill Munny in “Unforgiven,” portrays Northwest Indiana native Leo Sharp.


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The Brookwood Gardens owner was a well-known florist in Michigan City who supplied flowers to the Rose Garden at the White House and attained professional renown in his field for hybridizing daylilies in innovative new ways. The World War II veteran, who received a Bronze Star during combat, fell on hard times in later years when he may have suffered from dementia and ended up running an estimated 1,400 pounds of cocaine for Mexican drug cartels, including the infamous drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, as he sought to avoid foreclosure on his business.

According to Times of Northwest Indiana archives, Sharp was arrested by Michigan State Police on Interstate 94 about an hour west of Detroit with more than 200 pounds of cocaine in his truck in 2011. He was sentenced to three years in prison and died at the age of 92 in 2016.

The movie version of Sharp’s life was written by “Gran Torino” screenwriter Nick Schenk. The cast includes Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, and Michale Pena.

The acting role is the first Eastwood, now 88, has taken on since 2012.



Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.