Nicole Sperling
February 24, 2010 AT 12:00 PM EST

The Hangover’s Bradley Cooper won’t be heading to the spy genre anytime soon. The actor has exited the long-gestating spy comedy project This Means War, in which he was set to star opposite Reese Witherspoon. Twentieth Century Fox confirms Cooper’s departure, saying the actor had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with The Hangover 2.

This Means War, which Terminator Salvation director McG is in negotiations to direct, was set to begin filming in July, while Hangover director Todd Philips isn’t planning on shooting his sequel to the $277 million grosser until fall, which would theoretically give Cooper time to do both roles should he choose. But a source close to Cooper says that the actor had creative concerns regarding the project, which centers on two spying best friends whose relationship falls apart when they both fall for the same woman (Witherspoon). The source says Cooper had some issues with the script, which has been through numerous iterations since Fox originally purchased it back in 1998.  The most recent draft is from Role Models scribe Timothy Dowling. Cooper’s reps declined to comment.

It isn’t clear what Fox will do now. The script was a priority project, and there is no word on who the studio will reach out to first as a replacement for Cooper.

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