Downey's producing Steve McQueen film
Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan Downey, no Jr., have put together a production company and are hitting their first film together with Dan Lin whom they worked with for Sherlock Holmes.
The film is none other than the Steve McQueen heist film Yucatan which he never completed before his death, but had made copious notes and drawings on.
It's been in development since May 2006 when Steve McQueen's son Chad discovered some sixteen leather bound books with over one and a half thousand hand written notes, drawings, photographs and detailed screenplay notes for the idea of Yucatan.
The description of the film at the time said that it was a heist and adventure epic:
....an archaeologist from the Museum of London enlists a renegade Navy diver, who works for the oil companies and races motorcycles on the "shores of the Mojave," in a plan to explore the cenotes, caves in the Yucatan jungle that reveal underground lakes. Here, a millennium before, Mayan priests sacrificed virgins covered in gold and precious jewels, a fortune rumored to still adorn their skeletons at the bottom of these sacred wells.
The writing is filled with a reverence for nature and sympathy to the class struggle in Mexico, and there is a motorcycle chase spelled out in illustrated storyboards that McQueen planned as the most elaborate ever committed to film. In William F. Nolan's biography McQueen, the actor describes the film as follows: "Our story will center on a guy who takes his cycle into the Mexican wilds on a personal treasure hunt. Naturally, I'll play the guy on the cycle."
Sounded superb didn't it? Back then Paul Scheuring was pulled in as a writer to bring it together. Then in August 2007 we heard that McG might be set to direct. At the time that seemed a terrible idea, but since then, with some newer films from the director, the idea hasn't seemed so bad.
However that version was not meant to be, and now the Downeys have it. They plan to forget everything that's been done to date and go right back to the source material once again. The story from Deadline Hollywood Daily even says that Robert Downey Jr. will get the first crack at starring in the film.
I just hope that they stay as true to the original source as possible and that the never made Steve McQueen film finally gets made the way he would like to have seen it.