Ready for another reboot? This time, Steven Spielberg steps back into the spotlight on reboots following West Side Story, as the prolific filmmaker is confirmed to helm the upcoming Bullitt reboot, according to Deadline. The original feature came out to rave reviews back in 1968, with John Mahoney of the Hollywood Reporter nicely summarizing the overall feeling regarding the action classic, “It is simply one of the most exciting and intelligent action films in years, probably the best good-cop film we can expect to encounter.”
The original film turned Steve McQueen into a star and is considered to have the best car chase scene ever made. The synopsis of the original film is: Senior Walter Chambers is aiming to take down mob boss Peter Ross with the help of testimony from the criminal’s hothead brother Johnny, who is in protective custody in San Francisco under the watch of police lieutenant Frank Bullitt. Now, according to the report, the reboot will follow a different path as it will focus on Frank Bullitt. Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper is confirmed for the starring role, though there’s no word on the other cast members of the film. It sounds as if Cooper and Spielberg have been planning out this feature for some time now, as talks between the two regarding the reboot actually stem back all the way during the pandemic.
Steven Spielberg has been a busy man of late. While the filmmaker is no stranger to behind-the-scenes work throughout the years, Spielberg has directed two features in the last two years: West Side Story and The Fablemans. Both movies have received high critical praise, and The Fablemans are reported to have huge Oscar contention this year. West Side Story was nominated for seven Oscars, but one only emerged with one: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. The film was also a box office dud financially as well, collecting $75 million based on a budget of $100 million. The financial failure of West Side Story proved two things: 1) Musicals just aren’t a popular genre (In The Heights bombed badly, too), and 2) reboots don’t always guarantee success.
Bullitt was a popular commercial film when it was released in 1968, garnering $42 million based on a $4 million budget. It makes sense why studios would green light this film as it has all the tools to be a success for modern audiences; Steven Spielberg is a proven and beloved filmmaker thanks to classics such as Jurassic Park, Jaws, and Indiana Jones, and Bradley Cooper has proven time and time again that he’s a high caliber actor thanks to roles such as A Star is Born and Silver Linings Playbook. However, Bullitt isn’t an established intellectual property for modern audiences. It hasn’t remained in the mainstream like the Steven Spielberg films mentioned above. However, that doesn’t mean Bullitt won’t be a success. Given the incredible depth of talent attached, it would be shocking if this didn’t turn out to be a great film, and it’s nice that it’s not a copy-and-paste remake for the current generation.
Josh Singer – writer of The Post, First Man, and Spotlight – is penning the screenplay, while Cooper, Spielberg, and Kristie Macosko Krieger are the producers of the project. Steve McQueen’s son Chad McQueen and granddaughter Molly McQueen are onboard as executive producers. As of this writing, a release date for the upcoming reboot has yet to be confirmed. We’ll keep you updated once an official date has been set. In the meantime, Spielberg is currently in the movie circuit with The Fablemans, and Bradley Cooper returned as Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy in the new James Gunn Christmas special.
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