Steven Spielberg Exits 'American Sniper'

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
 AP/Invision

Steven Spielberg will not direct American Sniper, the film adaptation of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's autobiography, The Hollywood Reporter confirms.

In early May, The Hollywood Reporter exclusively broke the news that the Lincoln director's next project would be American Sniper, which is set up at Warner Bros.

After Spielberg came on board, DreamWorks joined Warner Bros. to co-produce the film, written by Jason Hall (Spread). DreamWorks will drop out of co-producing now that Spielberg has moved on. A source confirmed that Spielberg's vision for the film did not align with Warner Bros.' planned budget.

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Bradley Cooper is attached to star and has been developing the project as a producer.

The film is an adaptation of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. It reveals how Kyle came to record the highest number of sniper kills for an American. The book has been praised for its frankness in telling a first-person account of a warrior who shoots from far and close distances.

Kyle was killed at a shooting range by a fellow veteran in February.

Spielberg, who spent more than a decade getting Oscar-nominated picture Lincoln made, has made a couple of false starts in selecting his next project. He was first planning on helming the tentpole Robopocalypse -- adapted by Drew Goddard -- but that was put on an indefinite hold.

Spielberg recently made waves with a speech at the University of Southern California as part of the festivities surrounding the official opening of the Interactive Media Building. He said an "implosion" in the film industry was inevitable and predicted that a half dozen or so $250 million movies would flop at the box office and alter the industry forever. He also said that Lincoln came "this close" to being an HBO movie instead of a theatrical release.

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