Lee has backed out of the project, which would have been his first since “Life of Pi,” for which he won this year’s best-director Academy Award.
“Tyrant,” about an Arab state dictator who dies, leaving his American son to head the country, was created by Gideon Raff (“Homeland”), whose Israeli series “Prisoners of War” was the source material for “Homeland.”
Lee would not have been the first director to migrate from big screen to small after winning an Oscar. Kathryn Bigelow won an Oscar for “Hurt Locker” and then signed on to direct the pilot for HBO’s “The Miraculous Year,” about a New York family as seen through the lens of a self-destructive Broadway composer — though Bigelow was not a TV directing virgin, like Lee, having previously directed episodes of “Homicide: Life on the Street,” and “Karen Sisco.”
Word of Lee’s change of heart was first reported by Deadline.com, which said he backed out because he “felt he didn’t have gas left in the tank.”