Is Bradley Cooper our generation’s Steve McQueen? I would not have necessarily made that connection, but it appears that Cooper will be the one to fill the shoes (and iconic shoulder holster) of McQueen in a new movie about Frank Bullitt, the title character in the 1968 cop thriller that remains one of McQueen’s most famous roles. The film will be 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 featuring the same character — first appeared online back in February. At that 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 take on 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 almost directed American Sniper before Clint Eastwood got involved.
This is another first for Spielberg: His first true cop film. He’s made plenty of thrillers, and you could technically count Minority Report as a police film, but that’s really more of a science-fiction movie than a straightforward cops and robbers drama. In recent years, Spielberg seems to be ticking off genres he’s never tackled before, from musicals (West Side Story) to animation (The Adventures of Tintin), to memoir (The Fabelmans). A big Spielberg cop movie with wild chase sequences like the original Bullitt sounds pretty good to me, before you add Cooper into the mix as the lead.
Spielberg’s latest film, The Fabelmans, is in limited release now.