Ever since he first donned Tony Stark's metallic suit in Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. has become one of the most bankable leading men in Hollywood. In recent years, he has lent his onscreen charisma and proven acting chops to films ranging from this year's family drama The Judge to his other franchise role in the Sherlock Holmes films.
In addition to reprisals of his superheroic alter ego in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, Downey is attached to headline and produce Yucatan, an action-adventure project that was originally developed by actor Steve McQueen back in the 1960s. Now that would-be movie has taken another big step forward.
According to Deadline, Warner Bros. has secured screenwriter Terry Rossio to adapt McQueen's original 1,700-page treatment for the big screen. The story reportedly initially centered on a renegade salvage expert as he searches the Yucatan Peninsula for Mayan treasure, but that premise will apparently be re-envisioned as a "mind-bending adventure story."
Given Downey's broad appeal, it's easy to see how Warner Bros. could transform Yucatan into a fun family romp in the vein of the Indiana Jones or Pirates of the Caribbean films. If that's the case, then hiring Rossio is a no-brainer. The writer - who was nominated for an Academy Award for his script work on Shrek - contributed script work to the first four Pirates films as well as other swashbuckling adventures like The Mask of Zorro, National Treasure: Book of Secrets and The Lone Ranger.
Here's what Downey himself had to say in a statement about Rossio joining the project:
"To imbue a McQueen project with a sense of how he might have made it nowadays is a challenge and a thrill. 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."
There's no doubt that the film marks an ambitious undertaking for Rossio and producer/star Downey. However, if the creative team is able to find the right tone and approach to combining the late McQueen's brainchild with the adventurous spirit of Rossio's filmography and Downey's unique screen presence, Warner Bros. could have a blockbuster on its hands here.
Of course, there's plenty of time to wonder if Yucatan will live up to its promise. Are you excited to see what Rossio and Downey have in store for fans? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on Yucatan as this story develops.