Jeremy Renner Developing a Steve McQueen Biopic

Jeremy Renner Developing a Steve McQueen Biopic

In The Hurt Locker, then-obscure actor Jeremy Renner played the kind of manly hero we don’t see too often anymore.  His military bomb technician was an absolutely confident, highly physical, resolutely unreflective, and unceasingly swaggering asskicker.  Since that breakout, Oscar nominated performance, Renner has become an action movie commodity, with upcoming roles in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and The Avengers, and an offer to star in The Bourne Legacy.  Apparently, though, Renner is cooking up a project of his own, a biopic in which he would play Steve McQueen, the man who personified the action star Renner is fast becoming.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Renner has formed a production company, The Combine, which he’ll oversee with Don Handfield.  The first picture on their plate is the McQueen film, with James Gray, the writer-director of We Own the Night and The Yards, attached to write a screenplay based on the non-fiction booksPortrait of an American Rebel and The Life and Legend of a Hollywood Icon, both by Marshall Terrill.  Also on board is commercial and music video director Ivan Zacharias, who would make his feature directorial debut with the untitled McQueen film.

Steve McQueen was the hard-living,womanizing, action oriented tough-guy actor with a love for fast cars and motorcycles.  He was the highest paid actor of the 1960’s, and one of the biggest stars of the 1970’s.  McQueen defined the modern action star and set an insurmountable standard with his work in films including The Great Escape, Bullitt, The Magnificent Seven, The Towering Inferno, Papillon, and The Thomas Crowne Affair.

Jeremy Renner has an onslaught of starring roles in postproduction or currently filming, and the performance of those films will likely dictate his ability to get his Steve McQueen biopic into production.  Brad Bird‘s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol will serve to hand off the spy franchise from star Tom Cruise to Renner, and Marvel’s hoping to give his The Avengers character Hawkeye his own spin-off movie.  He’s also Universal’s choice to carry the now Matt Damon-less Bourne franchise, though he has yet to accept the studio’s offer.

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