Clint Eastwood May Replace Steven Spielberg as ‘American Sniper’ Director

Published 2 years ago by

clint eastwood american sniper director Clint Eastwood May Replace Steven Spielberg as American Sniper Director

American Sniper – based on the late Chris Kyle’s memoir “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History” – has attracted some big Hollywood talent, ever since Bradley Cooper’s 22nd & Indiana production company picked up the rights in 2012 (with Cooper attaching himself as the star and producer). Case in point, Cooper’s Silver Linings Playbook writer/director David O. Russell was reported as being the first serious contender in consideration for the helming job on Sniper.

Russell has decided to look elsewhere, where it concerns the possible followup to his next project: the true-story historical dramedy American Hustle (also starring Cooper). Steven Spielberg appeared to be all-ready to commit as director on American Sniper back in May of 2013, but he then dropped out around three months later.

Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. wants American Sniper to begin filming by the first quarter of 2014. That could mean the studio intends to release the movie during the subsequent awards season; or, at least, have the Sniper adaptation ready in time to make an Oscar-qualifying limited theatrical run in December next year.

However, in order for that to be feasible, WB is going to need a director known for working fast, efficiently and effectively to captain the American Sniper ship – which may be part of the reason why the studio has begun “tentative negotiations” with Clint Eastwood, so as to have the Oscar-winning legend take the helm. If a deal is struck, then Eastwood will begin filming his Jersey Boys musical adaptation at the conclusion of this month (August 2013, at the time of writing this), before he wraps up production a couple months later and then jumps head-first into principal photography on Sniper.

Bradley Cooper in The Place Beyond the Pines Clint Eastwood May Replace Steven Spielberg as American Sniper Director

Bradley Cooper in ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’

Kyle’s American Sniper book – detailing how the former Navy SEAL went “from Texas rodeo cowboy to expert marksman and feared assassin” – has been adapted into movie script form by Jason Dean Hall. The latter’s artistic credibility took a hit this past week, due to the poor critical reception for Paranoia (which Hall co-wrote). I’m taking the time to note this because Eastwood has a tendency to direct scripts with potential – something that Hall’s American Sniper script draft clearly has (given the talent it has managed to attract).

Problem is, Clint the director is able to work faster because he skips on polishing or fine-tuning the scripts he works from, as has become increasingly noticeable in his more recent films (see: Invictus, J. Edgar) – meaning, he may not be the right guy to give Hall’s American Sniper script draft any necessary tweaks it needs to realize its full promise. Moreover, Eastwood’s no-budge directorial temperament often gives rise to a slow-paced and soulfully-morose final product – but is that the right approach to Kyle’s story, passing over how respectful Eastwood would be towards his subject?

How about it, then: Clint Eastwood to direct American Sniper, yay or nay?


American Sniper doesn’t have an official release date yet. Expect that to change in the foreseeable future, assuming either Eastwood or another director signs on soon.

Source: Deadline

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  1. I hope this happens. I believe Eastwood, one of the last true Hollywood legends, is 83 now, so it goes without saying that he will likely not be with us much longer. This movie, about an American hero, seems fit for him to direct. I would love to see him act again, especially in one last western, but with each passing year, that seems less and less likely. His direction behind the camera is still something to behold, though, and I look forward to it!

    • Yeah, Clint Eastwood is as a good behind the camera as he is in front of it (maybe better).

      • right on

  2. Come on Spielberg, direct something.

    • I wish he would get back to the magic of Close Encounters of the Third Kind or ET, or back to the excitement and fun of Jaws or Jurassic Park. I also love his dramas, like the masterpiece Shindler’s List, but I most enjoy when he makes me feel like a kid again.

  3. I’d watch this on Netflix, no matter who directs it. Not that it is that great of a movie, but probably good enough to kill a couple hours on.

    A grumpy, nattering word: Eastwood’s “act” of talking to an empty chair or whatever at that Republican national Convention was a waste of time, and was not that funny or effective; it was kind of childish and immature and fell flat. I am a life-long Republican, so please don’t think I am unentitled to gripe.

    • The idea was great, but the execution was lacking, as it was completely unscripted. It could have been first rate, had he prepared for it, but I heard he literally thought of it moments before he took the stage, after someone asked him if he would like a stool to sit on. It thus lacked in substance…and there could have been so much substance to it!

  4. Go ahead, click on that website…and then probably you will have fun cleaning all the spyware and malware out of your computer. Screenrant, can we delete this guy’s comments? He is all over this website all of a sudden, as well as a couple other sci-fi websites as well.

  5. I’d watch this on Netflix, no matter who directs it. Not that it is that great of a movie, but probably good enough to kill a couple hours on.