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Aug 5, 2013

AMERICAN SNIPER: Steven Spielberg Exits Navy SEAL Film Adaptation

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg, originally brought on to direct the Warner Brother’s film American Sniper announced today he has left the project. American Sniper is the film adaptation of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s autobiography by the same name.

The ‘American Sniper’ autobiography was released in 2012. Kyle served four tours in the second Iraqi conflict and was awarded the Bronze and Silver Star medals multiple times. Nicknamed the “Devil of Ramadi” there was a large bounty on his head by Iraqi insurgents. Kyle came to hold the record for the highest number of sniper kills for an American. Although the Pentagon has not released these statistics, Kyle is known for 160 confirmed kills out of 255 claimed kills.

Kyle and the book’s co-writers Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice are the rights holders. The book spent 18 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and 13 weeks at number one.

In early May, it was reported that Spielberg (Lincoln) would direct this new project. DreamWorks joined Warner Bros. to co-produce the film, written by Jason Hall (Spread). Andrew Lazar of Mad Chance is also listed as a producer along with Peter Morgan. With the loss of Spielberg comes the loss of DreamWorks. A source confirmed that Spielberg’s vision for the film did not align with Warner Bros.’ planned budget. It is unclear how DreamWorks departure will also affect the current production budget.

Marine Eddie Ray Routh shot and killed both Chris Kyle and his companion Chad Littlefield, at the Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge-Resort shooting range in Erath County, Texas. It is said that Routh was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Bradley Cooper will star and will be acting as a producer on the project. Principal photography is scheduled to begin in January 2014. No other major casting decisions have been made.

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Source: Hollywoodreporter