Warner Bros. and Robert Downey Jr. have set Oscar-nominated scribe Terry Rossio to write “Yucatan,” a potential star vehicle for Robert Downey Jr that is based on a 1,700-page treatment written by iconic actor Steve McQueen in the late 1960s as a star vehicle for himself.
“Yucatan,” as envisioned in Hollywood, has been described as “an epic Mayan heist movie.”
Rossio’s credits include the “Pirates Of The Caribbean” series, “Mask Of Zorro,” and “Deja Vu.”
McQueen’s detailed template for the movie was found in two leather-bound trunks after his death. His vision involved a renegade salvage expert’s search for Mayan treasure. The updated plot is under wraps, but Rossio and Downey Jr. are using the original premise as a jumping-off point for an adventure story. Susan Downey is producing with RDJ and David Gambino, along with Dan Lin from Lin Pictures. Scribe Anthony Peckham previously took a run at “Yucatan.”
Team Downey, the actor’s production company, recently released “The Judge,” a David Dobkin-directed drama that stars Downey and Robert Duvall. Chad McQueen and Lance Sloane are exec producers on Yucatan, and Warner Bros execs Jon Berg and Jon Gonda are overseeing with Team Downey’s Gambino and Rob Hackett.
“To imbue a McQueen project with a sense of how he might have made it nowadays is a challenge and a thrill,” Downey said in a statement. “Rossio is more than a great writer, he’s the perfect fit to embrace the existential nature of the project with the action, story and characters that drive ‘Yucatan.’ ”
This film has been in the works for years. The New York Times wrote about his “dream movie” in 2006. Wrote the Times:
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.”