Salt director Phillip Noyce has backed out of directing the big budget action thriller Hunter Killer for Relativity, Moviehole has learned.

Based on Don Keith and George Wallace's novel "Firing Point," the story centers on an American sub commander and a Navy SEAL team that must rescue the Russian president and defeat a renegade admiral who's attempting a coup.

It is being reported that Phillip Noyce felt the material was too similar to films he's made, and will concentrate on Relativity's love story Timeless, and the thriller Above Suspicion from Bold Films.

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No replacement director has been announced.