Rival Steve McQueen projects gearing up

Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:56pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Almost 30 years after his death, Hollywood cannot get enough of Steve McQueen.

Two rival film projects about the "King of Cool" are edging their way to the big screen, pitting two of his three wives against each other.

Marshall Terrill's biography "Steve McQueen: Portrait of an American Rebel" is being developed by producers Michael Cerenzie ("Before the Devil Knows You're Dead") and Christine Peters ("How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"). They have enlisted the assistance of McQueen's widow, Barbara Minty.

Their project will trace McQueen's development from reform-school delinquent to the highest-paid actor in Hollywood and cover the "Bullitt" star's obsession with motorcycles and racing, his drug abuse, his marriages and affairs and his hard-fought battle with cancer, which felled him in 1980 at age 50.

The producers are looking to nail down a director and a star in time for a fall production. Jesse Wigutow is writing the script.

The other project comes from producer and former McQueen publicist David Foster ("The Getaway"), who is working from a memoir written by McQueen's first wife, Neile McQueen Toffel, titled "My Husband, My Friend." Roderick and Bruce Taylor ("The Brave One") are adapting.

(Editing by Dean Goodman at Reuters)

<p>A exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Musuem in Los Angeles titled "Steve McQueen The Legend and the Cars" is shown during a press preview September 23, 2005. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>