The Curious Case of Brad Pitt as Steve McQueen


Since it’s a glorious Memorial Day Weekend, Neil and I ended up watching Bullitt on Blu-ray yesterday, reliving the genius of Steve McQueen. Who else could make waking up look bad ass? No one. That’s your answer.

Which is why a biopic of the actor is such a great and terrible idea. We reported back in March that there were actually two projects in the works, one based off a memoir from his first wife, Neile McQueen Toffel, and the other based off the biography “Steve McQueen: Portrait of an American Rebel” written by Marshall Terrill.

It would be fantastic to see a project shine a greater spotlight on this American icon, but the problem – as usual – is finding just the right actor to play the part. It would have to be someone who can pull the camera’s gaze even when he’s in the background of a scene, and that’s a rare quality these days.

While stumbling drunkenly through the internet, I hit a news story from The Playlist that linked back to a Classic Autos Examiner out of Dallas that proclaims pretty straightforwardly (and without mentioning any source) that Brad Pitt will be the one stepping into the driver’s seat.

It’s totally unfounded (although the Examiner article is really cool if you dig classic cars), but it’s got me thinking. Is Brad Pitt really the right guy to play Steve McQueen? I’m not sure. One the upside, he is one of the few actors today that can really command charisma – plus, through the use of digital technology, he’d be able to play McQueen at all stages of his life. On the downside, Pitt’s celebrity might actually overshadow the part, a weird sort of catch-22 for anyone playing the role.

What do you think? Who on the planet could play Steve McQueen?

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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