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Charlie Hunnam takes on Steve McQueen role in Papillon: Could he play the iconic star in McQueen biopic? #book2movies

The Lost City of Z starring fan faves Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson is now out in theaters. But I haven’t seen that yet AND since the critics led me so far astray in their reviews of The Zookeeper’s Wife—which I loved—I’m not in the mood to do a review roundup.

Instead, in other Charlie Hunnam news ... a reminder that Hunnam has two other films slated for release this year. Both just so happen to be based on books.

First up Hunnam takes on King Arthur in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. We took a look at the trailer here. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film—very much a reimagining of the Le Morte d’Arthur story by Thomas Mallory—hits theaters in the US on May 12.

Frankly, I’m more intrigued by the remake of Papillon in which Hunnam takes on the role originated by Steve McQueen. And I wonder if Hunnam might not be a great candidate to play the iconic star in the McQueen biopic if Jeremy Renner, currently said to be attached but incredibly busy with Bourne and Avenger films, steps aside.

The 1973 version of Papillon based on the memoir by Henri Charrier was scripted by the legendary Dalton Trumbo and co-starred Dustin Hoffman. Hunnam and costar Rami Malek in the Hoffman role, have awfully big shoes to fill!

We talked about the classic Papillon back in 2015. It looks like the new iteration is in the can, the movie is in post and expected sometime this year. That’s exciting.

The McQueen movie? Financing was secured back in 2015 with Jeremy Renner and his Immigrant director James Gray, said to be “circling’’  James Gray? Right, the director of The Lost City of Z which stars—wait for it—Charlie Hunnam. Hmmm. The plot thickens! Do you agree, isn’t Hunnam a dead ringer for McQueen? But does he have McQueen’s power? What do you think? I’m all ears.


  1. While I do like Charlie,..he isnt strong enough to play Steve McQueen.Not in my humble opinion anyway.
    Personally,Jeremy Renner wont work either.I love watching both of these actors in movies,however,doing a Steve McQueen biopic just shouldnt be done.It will fail,simply because people will want so badly to see McQueen,but they cant find anyone who looks close enough to suspend reality,enough for people to lose themselves in the film.
    In the end,thats what people want,to suspend their realities and become lost in whatever movie they go to.And,to want to see a Steve McQueen biopic,they will not want to see someone glaringly not McQueen.
    One hard film to cast,and I can only think of one actor to fit the bill.Daniel Craig.His looks and his ability to be anything needed,plus his tough guy attitude,..it all works.

    1. You're right about what people look for in a movie and any biopic has the extra challenge that you have to buy into the actor as the person.Very hard film to cast but as much as I love Daniel Craig's work, I don't see him as McQueen either. Maybe the actor able to catch that indefinable McQueen quality simply doesn't exist.


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