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Steven Spielberg to Direct New Film Based on Steve McQueen’s Bullitt

Legendary director Steven Spielberg has just lined up another next big project. Deadline reports that Spielberg has gotten attached to direct a new movie that follows Frank Bullitt, the fictional action hero played by Steve McQueen in the 1968 thriller Bullitt. Spielberg will also produce the feature alongside Kristie Macosko Krieger, with Josh Singer writing the screenplay. This likely will not be the next movie Spielberg directs as the screenplay is still not yet finished, leaving it unclear when the project might be developed.

Reportedly, this is a passion project for Spielberg, who’d been thinking about directing a movie based on the titular character in Bullitt for many years. He had come close to lining up a deal for the project last year, potentially making it his follow-up film to West Side Story, but those plans were stalled by ongoing negotiations with the McQueen estate for the rights to the character. Spielberg had since set up the semi-autobiographical film The Fabelmans for him to helm next, and after wrapping up filming on that feature, Spielberg was able to finalize the Bullitt movie plans.


Released in 1968, Bullitt was directed by Peter Yates and written by Harry Kleiner and Alan R. Trustman. Based on Robert L. Fish’s 1963 novel Mute Witness, the film stars Steve McQueen as Lt. Frank Bullitt alongside Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bisset. It follows Bullitt (McQueen) as he takes on the mob, determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection.

There is not much information that has been revealed about Spielberg’s Bullitt movie, but the word is that it will not be a direct remake. Rather, it will take the Frank Bullitt character with a new actor in the role and give him an original storyline. Even if that’s the case, there may be certain callbacks and references for fans to look for.

Related: Steven Spielberg Recalls Thinking Jaws Theme Was a Joke

Steven Spielberg Is Still Going Strong

West Side Story images # 3
20th Century Studios

This news follows Spielberg’s name receiving a lot of recognition during this awards season due to the success of West Side Story. The feature earned six Oscar nominations, including Best Director for Spielberg along with Best Picture. We’ll find out if the film pulls off the wins in March. Meanwhile, The Fabelmans is set to be released this Thanksgiving, keeping Spielberg present in Hollywood as he shifts his focus from one project to the next.

At one point, Spielberg was also planning to direct Indiana Jones 5, coming back after helming the previous installments of the series. Because that project kept getting delayed, Spielberg eventually passed over the directing duties to James Mangold, though he has remained hands-on with the sequel as a producer. He is also executive producing some other major releases coming ahead, such as Jurassic World Dominion and Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.

It’s not clear when the new Bullitt movie might begin filming. Because it’s still early into development without a finished script, no casting announcements have yet been made either. No release date has been set at this time.

Steve McQueen's Long Lost Bullitt Mustang Returns for 50th Anniversary
Steve McQueen’s Long Lost Bullitt Mustang Returns for 50th Anniversary

Thought to be lost for decades, the original Ford Mustang Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt has been restored, as Ford announced a new version.

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