The game of musical chairs continues as Steven Spielberg drops out of another project in his search for a follow up to last year’s Lincoln. The veteran director signed on to the true war story American Sniper back in May, but has pulled out due to budget concerns. This is the second project Spielberg has removed himself from this year, the first being Robopocalypse in January.
The Academy Award winning film maker has been known to jump from project to project. He was previously attached to this year’s Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller), next year’s Interstellar (Christopher Nolan), and the upcoming Trial of the Chicago 7 (Paul Greengrass).
American Sniper is a biopic about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who holds the record for the most confirmed kills (150) for any sniper in American military history. The film is based on his autobiography of the same name with a screenplay adapted from Jason Dean Hall (Paranoia, Spread). The story is a passion project for actor/producer Bradley Cooper, who bought the rights for the film back in June 2012 with his production company, “22 and Indiana Pictures”. After the tragic death of Kyle in February of this year, the project was fast-tracked into preproduction.
Cooper became close with Kyle when the film was in development, so it’s unlikely that the movie will be shelved with Spielberg’s departure. American Sniper was originally set for a 2015 release.