By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 28, 2011 at 8:56AM
Just yesterday we called for an intervention for Jeremy Renner, following the announcement he joined the voice cast of "Ice Age 4." The Oscar nominated actor has been worrying us of late, as he has a string of roles in big shiny tentpoles -- "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol," "The Bourne Legacy," "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" -- that aren't necessarily the best showcase for his tremendous talent. Well, Renner has bounced back into our good books as not only has he set up his own production shingle -- something almost every actor of note has in Hollywood -- but the first project sounds great.
THR reveals that Renner, under his new shingle The Combine, is getting a Steve McQueen biopic off the ground. Even better, he's enlisted James Gray ("Two Lovers," "We Own The Night") to write the screenplay. Well done Renner, well done.
Simply put, Steve McQueen was a bad ass motherfucker who raised hell from his youth all the way through his Hollywood career. As a young man, though dyslexic and partially deaf, he ran with street gangs, bounced between homes and was eventually legally remanded to the California Junior Boys Republic, which played a major role in his life (he would donate, correspond and visit frequently). From there he joined the Marines where again, his rebellious spirit ruffled the feathers of his superiors. But, acting came calling and he took to it like a duck in water and quickly rose to become one of the manliest leading men of all time, starring in films like "The Great Escape," "Bullitt," "The Getaway," and "Papillon." He raced motorbikes, did drugs, smoked and drank but his legacy remains his incredible body of work.
At any rate, the research on this will be deep. The film will be based on two books by Marshall Terrill: "Portrait of an American Rebel" and "The Life and Legend of a Hollywood Icon." Director Ivan Zacharias will make his feature debut on the film, but obviously, this one is a way off just yet. Renner is pretty much busy for the rest of the year with "Hansel & Gretel," "The Avengers" and "The Bourne Legacy." So, we'll have to wait a while just yet but yeah, we're pleased he's starting to develop his own projects and hopefully his string of mainstream work will open the doors to get this -- and other projects -- moving.