Steven Spielberg Leaves American Sniper

He won't direct the Bradley Cooper film

While he’s long had the power to pick up and drop projects at his leisure and always has a batch of potential movies on the go, Steven Spielberg has recently become something of a rolling stone, career-wise. By that we do not mean he’s jumping on stages and gyrating in tight trousers, just that he’s left Robopocalypse in limbo and has now departed American Sniper.

The reality-based tale was set up between Warner Bros. and Spielberg’s own DreamWorks, but the director and his company are now detached from the film, which is set to see Bradley Cooper producing and starring in the story of decorated Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

With a script adapted by Jason Hall, American Sniper is drawn from Kyle’s eponymous memoir, subtitled The Autobiography Of The Most Lethal Sniper In US Military History. Kyle was a Texas-born shooter who notched the highest recorded number of kills for an American. But his dedication to his sights and his SEAL mates has an impact on his relationship with his wife. And in a tragic twist, Kyle was killed at a shooting range by a fellow veteran he and a friend were trying to help deal with his experiences in the military (there's a fascinating account of the whole tragic incident here).

While he was initially interested, it appears the Lincoln director simply couldn’t make it work on the budget all involved envisioned. Warners is still attached, and Cooper and company are free to find another filmmaker.

Spielberg, meanwhile, will likely lock in another film soon, especially since it appears he’s not yet ready to get Robopocalypse back in front of the cameras.