Based on the 1963 novel “Mute Witness” by Robert L. Fish, the original “Bullitt” starred the late McQueen as the title character, a San Francisco Police Department lieutenant seeking to take down Chicago mobster Johnny Ross (Pat Renella). Spielberg will direct the new Warner Bros. film, which will not be a remake of the original movie by Peter Yates, instead telling a completely original story starring Bullitt. Sources close to the project confirmed the news to IndieWire.
Cooper will join Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger as producers on the film — the three also serve as producers on Cooper’s upcoming feature “Maestro,” about the life of Leonard Bernstein. That film, currently in post-production, is set to release on Netflix in 2023. Oscar-winning “Spotlight” screenwriter Josh Singer will pen the screenplay for the new Bullitt film, with McQueen’s son Chad and granddaughter Molly executive producing.
In addition to McQueen and Ross, the original Bullitt also starred Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bisset. The film was a critical success, winning a best editing Oscar at the Academy Awards, and grossed $42.3 million on a $4 million budget. The movie is perhaps McQueen’s, who died in 1980, most famous role, and has come to be viewed as a huge influence on action films as a genre. In particular, the film’s car chase scene through San Francisco is widely regarded as iconic and has been the subject of many homages and parodies in the years since.
Aside from “Maestro,” Cooper will also voice Rocket Raccoon in next year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” and this year’s upcoming Disney+ “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.” “Maestro” will be the “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Sniper’s” star second directorial film, after his critically acclaimed remake of “A Star Is Born” in 2018. Cooper is represented by Range Media Partners.
The currently untitled Bullitt film will be Spielberg’s next film after “The Fabelmans,” which just made its theatrical premiere and is set to expand this Thanksgiving. The film, which tells a semi-autobiographical tale of a boy growing up in the 1950s discovering his talent for filmmaking, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to critical acclaim and is expected to be a major contender at the Oscars.