Steve McQueen's latest movie 'Widows' came together by sheer good fortune.

Steve McQueen and his wife Bianca Stigter

Steve McQueen and his wife Bianca Stigter

The 48-year-old director was a huge fan of Lynda La Plante's ground-breaking TV drama series that inspired the movie, but McQueen has admitted he only pursued the project after a fortuitous meeting with the British screenwriter.

He recalled: "I met Lynda La Plante at Buckingham Palace, as you do, lining up to meet the Queen at an arts event - Lenny Henry and Angela Lansbury were there - and I asked her what happened to the movie rights to 'Widows'."

At the time, the rights belonged to Disney - but New Regency, the studio through which he made '12 Years A Slave', subsequently purchased the film.

McQueen then set to work on a contemporary version of the show - which told the story of four women who tried to pull off a raid - with an added touch of politics.

He told the Daily Mail newspaper: "I wanted to understand what makes a big city tick, as four women are organising a big heist with the clock ticking against them."

The award-winning director also revealed some the advice that was offered to him by La Plante.

He shared: "These disparate women have to learn to come together because their lives depend on it.

"I had a two-hour lunch with Lynda and one of the things she told me was that the real women she based her 'Widows' on had their backs against the wall, and had steel and determination."

The movie, which is set for release in September, boasts a star-studded cast that includes the likes of Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert Duvall and Liam Neeson.