EXCLUSIVE: Even as he juggles an awards-season campaign for West Side Story and post-production on his semi-autobiographical pic The Fablemans, Steven Spielberg looks to be getting that future dance card in order. Sources tell Deadline that he is attached to direct a new original story centered on Frank Bullitt, the iconic character played by Steve McQueen in the 1968 thriller Bullitt. Spielberg will also produce the pic along with Kristie Macosko Krieger, with Josh Singer on board to pen the script. The film is set up at Warner Bros.
Sources do add that with no script and deals being finalized, this would likely not be the next project Spielberg directs.
Sources were adamant this is not a remake of the original film but a new idea centered on the character. In the original film, Frank Bullitt is a no-nonsense San Francisco cop on the hunt for the mob kingpin that killed his witness. Considered one of McQueen’s more iconic roles, the film delivers one of the most famous car-chase scenes in cinema history.
Steve McQueen’s son, Chad ,and granddaughter Molly McQueen will exec produce the new movie.
Insiders say Spielberg had been toying with the idea to direct a film based on the character for some time and came close last year to making it his follow-up to West Side Story, but head to negotiate with the McQueen estate for rights to the character before he would attach as a director. With the negotiations taking longer then expected, Spielberg shifted his focus to directing The Fablemans, the film loosely based on the director’s childhood growing up in Arizona, and moved off of this film.
Once filming wrapped on Fablemans, he circled back to the Bullitt project and recently tapped Singer to pen the script.
Spielberg is already having a good start to the year with West Side Story recently landing seven Oscar nominations, including noms for Best Director and Best Picture. As for The Fablemans, that pic bows this Thanksgiving.
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