Travis McGee has been stuck in development for a while. Based on John MacDonald’s mystery novel The Deep Blue Good-By, the film has previously had Oliver Stone and Runaway Jury director Gary Felder attached to it. At one point it was one of a number of project that Robert Downey Jr. was contemplating. Currently, Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to play the title role. It looks like Paul Greengrass might finally be the one to get the project up on the big screen though.
Deadline is reporting that the film may be Greengrass’s next project in the wake of his Martin Luther King Jr. bio-pic Memphis suffering some set backs. Universal recently based on the script for that film and there are reports that the King family isn’t too happy with it either. Apparently it’s depiction of the slain civil rights leader is a bit too “warts and all” for their liking. Additionally, Dreamworks has a similar project in development.
The one thing that may delay the film from getting in front of cameras right away is DiCaprio’s availability. Currently he is shooting J. Edgar, Clint Eastwood’s bio-pic of the FBI founder and will be going immediately from that to Australia to do The Great Gatsby with Baz Luhrmann.
The Deep Blue Good-By is the first of a series of 21 books that MacDonald wrote featuring Travis McGee, a self-described “salvage consultant’ who specializes in the recovery of stolen property for people who often have no other legal recourse.
If Greengrass can’t wait for DiCaprio, he may instead choose to direct Here There Be Monsters for Legendary Pictures. Scripted by Brian Helgeland, the screenplay “focuses on British naval officer John Paul Jones, who’s wrongly stripped of his commission and is hired by a rich shipping magnate to investigate the disappearance of his merchant ships in the North Atlantic. Jones and his shipmates slowly realize that it’s the work of a sea serpent, and they use unconventional yet visionary naval strategies to battle the creature and stay alive.” Legendary, however, is considering several directors for the project.