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Steve McQueen's dream film gains writer

SteveMcQueen.jpgWe've heard most of this story before, but the real salient part is that the never realised film from Steve McQueen called Yucatan is finally going to see production, or at this stage at least, a script.

McQueen had books of ideas on the film including the mapping out of stunts and sequences, sketches, and copious notes, but the film was never realised before his death and has become known as his unmade dream film.

Yucatan has 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. Now that's a hell of a lot of material for a never realised film, these days in Hollywood you'll get a two minute pitch, then a twenty or so page treatment to sell a film, and sometimes all it takes is that pitch.

The description of Yucatan when we first heard about it 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."

Originally Paul Scheuring was writing the script, and that was followed by some potential news that McG might direct the film, that was never realised.

Then we heard that the Downey's new company was set to produce it with Robert Downey Jr. getting first refusal on the lead role, so here we are today when Deadline Hollywood Daily tells us that they've now hired a writer for the script that sees Anthony Peckham writing the story.

Now Peckham has previously written a few films including Sherlock Holmes, Invictus (Filmstalker review), Don't Say a Word and The Assassin, and that's an interesting list, and while you might disapprove of some of those films I think it's a good range of stories to deliver a heist thriller.

My only hope is that they do Steve McQueen proud and those action sequences aren't all modernised and Hollywood-ised to a point where they don't represent something akin to the McQueen stunts and sequences we've seen. Saying that I doubt the insurance companies would let Downey attempt half of them the way McQueen would have.



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