It’s been about two weeks since Steven Spielberg dropped out of American Sniper, the upcoming biopic that will star Bradley Cooper as Navy Seal Chris Kyle. Apparently, two weeks is just enough time to line up another hugely popular director- as reported by Twitchfilm, Clint Eastwood is in talks to become Spielberg’s replacement.
For Eastwood, this is a pretty big ego boost since he’s apparently the next best thing when Mr. Spielberg is unavailable. For the movie-going public, this news is slightly less terrific. Eastwood’s got a masterful eye for direction, but that masterful eye has been conspicuously absent for his last few pictures- J. Edgar, Hereafter and Invictus all fall somewhere within the ‘mediocre’ category. Perhaps American Sniper will see the actor-turned-director hitting Unforgiven-level heights (or at least Gran Torino-sized ones).
The story’s certainly got some oomph to it. Kyle was the deadliest sniper in American military history, with 160 confirmed kills to his name. Injured numerous times in battle, Kyle was known as ‘The Devil of Ramadi’ to opposing Iraqi forces. He even (allegedly) punched Jesse Ventura in the face, something that might not show up in American Sniper, but probably should. The film will be based off of Kyle’s autobiography of the same name, which was published a year before his death at a Texas shooting range.
American Sniper would presumably start filming after Eastwood finishes production on his Jersey Boys adaptation.