Usually known for moving with confidence from project to project and working at a prodigious rate, it would seem that Steven Spielberg can’t settle on his next film. For a while, it looked as though that the blockbuster “Robopocalypse” would follow “Lincoln,” but he put that on hold at the beginning of the year. Then this spring he put his name to “American Sniper,” a project that seemed right up his alley with Bradley Cooper attached to star. But now it looks like he’s not ready to direct that one either.
Deadline reports that Spielberg has dropped out of directing the movie, along with DreamWorks who were co-producing the picture with Warner Bros. Based on the autobiography of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the Jason Deal Hall (“Spread,” “Paranoia“) penned adaptation tells the story of sniper who, in a ten year career, bagged the most kills in Army history, leading Iraqi insurgents to place a bounty on his head. However, as you might expect, the work put a strain on his marriage and homelife. Cooper himself is producing, and picked up the rights to the book last year, and he will have to start looking for another helmer. Why did Spielberg leave? Apparently, he “couldn’t square his vision of this movie with the budget.” Mo money, mo problems.
No word yet on any contenders to step in, though we could easily see Cooper talking it over with his new pal David O. Russell. Also no word on what Spielberg might gravitate towards next, though he likely has his pick of projects to choose from.