Is Bradley Cooper our generation’s Steve McQueen? I wouldn’t necessarily have made that connection, but it looks like Cooper will be the one to fill McQueen’s shoes (and iconic shoulder holster) in a new movie about Frank Bullitt, the title character in the 1968 police thriller that remains one of McQueen’s most famous roles. The film is being directed by none other than Steven Spielberg.
Word that Spielberg was interested in making his own Bullitt — not necessarily a remake of the original, but a new film with the same character — first appeared online back in February. At the time, no actor was mentioned in connection with the project, but now Cooper has reportedly signed on (per Deadline) to take over the role from McQueen. First man screenwriter Josh Singer wrote the screenplay.
According to Deadline’s report, Spielberg and Cooper “have been talking about the character and what a new version of the story would look like going all the way back to the pandemic, when everyone was stuck in quarantine and had nothing but time on their hands.” This will be Cooper and Spielberg’s first collaboration, although Spielberg mostly directed American sniper before Clint Eastwood got involved.
This is another first for Spielberg: His first real cop movie. He has done plenty of thrillers and you could technically count Minority report as a cop movie, but it’s really more of a science-fiction movie than a straightforward cops-and-robbers drama. In recent years, Spielberg seems to have ticked off genres he’s never tackled before, from musicals (West Side Story) for animation (The Adventures of Tintin), for memories (The Fabelman family). A great Spielberg cop movie with wild chase sequences like the original Bullitt sounds pretty good to me before you add Cooper to the mix as the lead.
Spielberg’s latest film, The Fabelman familyis in limited release now.