Steven Spielberg to Direct 'American Sniper', Starring Bradley Cooper

David O. Russell considered reuniting with his Silver Linings Playbook leading man, Bradley Cooper, on the American Sniper cinematic adaptation last year, but the duo instead ended up collaborating on another film - which is also inspired by real-life events - titled American Hustle. Russell is next planning to move ahead with The Ends of the Earth, which will star SLP's Oscar-winning female lead Jennifer Lawrence; however, Cooper is still headlining and developing (as a producer) the American Sniper project for Warner Bros.

Cooper, who recently left the cast for the troubled production on Jane Got a Gun, is now going to work alongside director Steven Spielberg on American Sniper. The multiple Oscar-winning filmmaker has settled on making the autobiographical film his next directing project, in addition to producing.

THR, which has the exclusive, says production on American Sniper is expected to get underway by the first quarter of 2014, possibly with an Oscar-qualifying late 2014 release date in mind. The iconic director had originally planned to be shooting the sci-fi adaptation Robopocalypse by now, but that project was put on indefinite hold due to his concerns about the budget and script.

Spielberg, over the past year, has been rumored to sign on as director for projects varying from the Navy SEAL autobiography adaptation No Easy Day - to a grand-scale, epic treatment of the Moses story, titled Gods and Kings - and, he was (very briefly) speculated to be returning as the director on the Jurassic Park movie franchise for the upcoming fourth installment; that is, before Colin Trevorrow was confirmed as the director for Jurassic Park IV instead.

The source book, which is titled "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History," is an autobiography written by former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle - who, in a cruelly-ironic and tragic turn, was killed at a shooting range by a fellow vet earlier this year. He currently holds the record for most confirmed sniper kills in U.S. history (150, officially).

Kyle's personal story has been adapted for the big screen by Jason Dean Hall, who previously wrote the satirical sex comedy Spread and this summer's start-studded corporate espionage thriller, Paranoia. Here's a semi-official synopsis for the American Sniper book:

Kyle’s riveting first-person account of how he went from Texas rodeo cowboy to expert marksman and feared assassin offers a fascinating view of modern-day warfare and one of the most in-depth and illuminating looks into the secret world of Special Ops ever written.

Cooper has hit his stride as an actor - after Silver Linings Playbook and The Place Beyond the Pines - and making a film about the demanding nature of the SEAL lifestyle is clearly something Spielberg is passionate about - given that American Sniper is the second project of that ilk which he's been linked over the past year (along with No Easy Day). No doubt, this is one worth keeping an eye on.


We'll keep you posted on American Sniper as more information becomes available.

Source: THR

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Steven Spielberg to Direct 'American Sniper', Starring Bradley Cooper