Downey Eyeing Dormant Steve McQueen Project

Robert Downey Jr. is king of the resurrection business these days. He’s brought his own career back from the dead, breathed new life into Sherlock Holmes, and is now ready to revive the Wizard of Oz. It seems there’s nothing the man can’t rescue from the grave, including a long-dormant heist movie called “Yucatan,” the dream project of long-dead screen legend Steve McQueen. It’s the first project optioned by Downey and his wife’s new production company, Team Downey (catchy name!). Mike Fleming at Deadline:

While Warner Bros tried for several years to find a movie in the nearly 1,700 pages of notes and storyboards compiled by McQueen and discovered in a trunk long after his death, Team Downey and (producer Dan) Lin will go back to that source material and start from scratch. The studio made a new rights deal with McQueen's son, Chad, who'll be an executive producer with Lance Sloane. Downey is intrigued with the material and will get first crack at starring in it.

That starring role wouldn’t happen until 2011 at the earliest, given that Deadline says Downey is already committed to starring in Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D space movie “Gravity” (I will buy tickets for that yesterday) and “Sherlock Holmes 2” for this year. Plus, there’s the Oz project in the pipeline, which would also presumably take priority. Also, SEVENTEEN HUNDRED PAGES OF NOTES? FOR ONE MOVIE? Goodness gracious, I thought Steve McQueen spent his whole life driving fast cars and sleeping with Ali McGraw. I didn’t realize he was, like, interested in stuff.

Anyway, I think “Yucatan” would be a cool project for Downey, who makes anything cool simply by starring in it. It’s a quality McQueen also possessed, and so Downey makes for a worthy torchbearer. Also, I’m intrigued by anything found in a trunk after someone has died. It’s like treasure!

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