With one remake of a Steve McQueen film — The Great Escape — under consideration by the BBC, and another — The Magnificent Seven — currently in production, as well as a biopic of the actor in the works, Hollywood has decided to drive this Steve McQueen bandwagon all the way into the ground, and is now going ahead with a new version of another of McQueen’s most famous movies. Papillon was a 1973 prison drama starring McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, famous for a cliff-jumping scene which the actor insisted on doing himself and said was “one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.”
Papillon was based on the autobiography of Henri Charrière (nicknamed ‘Papillon’ because of his butterfly tattoo.) Convicted of murder and dispatched to Devil’s Island in the 1930s, Charrière maintained he was innocent and repeatedly attempted to escape the South American penal colony. Charrière’s autobiography was translated into English by Master and Commander writer Patrick O’Brian. The McQueen film was written by Hollywood blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo. The remake will be directed by Michael Noer from a script by Aaron Guzikowski.