Steven Spielberg has officially signed on to direct the film adaptation of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
The award-winning director’s next film has been up in the air since Robopocalypse was put on hold, but he is now set to work with the film’s star, Bradley Cooper, who has been developing the project as a producer. Spielberg will also work with Andrew Lazar, Peter Morgan and Jason Hall, who wrote the script and will serve as executive producer on the Warner Bros./DreamWorks co-production.
The autobiography, which spent 18 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, tells the story of how Kyle came to hold a record of 150-plus confirmed kills throughout his decade-long military career. Kyle was shot dead three months ago while he was trying to help former Marine Eddie Ray Routh recover from the mental strife of going to war.
Cooper said in an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air:
His story first of all really needs to be told, and it’s also relevant on two fronts: gun control and the need to address the many soldiers who are coming back with PTSD. Medicine has evolved to such a state — soldiers are coming back and they’re going to assimilate into the culture and if we don’t address the mental state along with the physical state it’s going to be a problem.
The movie is set to begin filming sometime during the first quarter of 2014.