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A Journey Into Paradise

Robert Downey Jr. to Star in New Action-Adventure Film ‘Yucatan’

23 November, 2014

Yucatan,a now-mythical 1,700-page screenplay written by late Hollywood royalty Steve McQueen in the late 1960s has been given new life,as Oscar-nominated scribe Terry Rossio of Pirates of the Caribbean teams up with Warner Bros. and Robert Downey,Jr. to make this fictional heist adventure story a big-screen reality.

The movie template was reportedly discovered in two leather-bound trunks after McQueen’s untimely death in 1980 and was originally intended to be a star vehicle for the iconic writer and actor himself. His vision took audiences along on a wild ride with a renegade salvage expert who is searching for Mayan treasure in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

“Downey,Jr. is reportedly using [McQueen’s] storyline as inspiration for the film,” writes Hollywood.com. “He is also starring in the film and will serve as a producer on the project.”

Although the details of the movie’s updated plot have not yet been released,it is already being described as a “mind-bending adventure story,” The project was first announced by Warner Bros. four years ago,and the current production team also includes Downey,Jr.’s wife,Susan Downey,along with producers David Gambino and Dan Lin.

To imbue a McQueen project with a sense of how he might have made it nowadays is a challenge and a thrill,” Downey,Jr. stated in an interview with Deadline.com. “Rossio is more than a great writer,he’s the perfect fit to embrace the existential nature of the project with the action,story and characters that drive Yucatan.”

Ancient Mayan Mysteries

Despite the fictional nature of this film,the Mayan heritage of the Yucatan Peninsula is very,very real. In fact,Mayan culture flourished throughout the region from as far back as 2,500 B.C.,including in the area we now call the Riviera Maya,which runs along an idyllic tropical corridor along Mexico’s only Caribbean coast. Throughout the Yucatan Peninsula,there are a number of cities,including Chichén Itzá,Uxmal,Coba and Tulum.

Until the mid-1950s when Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula was linked to the rest of the country (and,consequently,the U.S.) by rail,people living here generally only had contact with the outside world by sea. By the 1960s a highway had appeared and the first commercial jet planes arrived in Merida…. The rest – as they say – is history! By the 1980s,Cancun and Cozumel also had bustling and modern international airports,which brought prosperity and wealth to the region thanks to tourism. 

Click here to view our stunning slideshow of the Top 10 Archaeological Sites of Mexico!

Today,the local culture of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Riviera Maya region remains unique from that of other Mexican states,and the area still supports one of the largest indigenous-language-speaking populations in the entire country – the Mayans.