The feature film adaptation of the John D. MacDonald novel The Deep Blue Good-By novel has taken one step forward and one step back. The mystery novel kicks off the fan-favorite Travis McGee series and was first set up as a starring vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio, with the actor courting directors like Oliver Stone and Paul Greengrass to take the helm. With a very busy schedule already on his plate, though, DiCaprio has now opted not to star in the pic, but Deadline reports that The Wolverine director James Mangold is negotiating to take the helm of Fox’s potential franchise-starter. Hit the jump for more.
Though DiCaprio has backed out of starring in The Deep Blue Good-By, Deadline notes that the actor is still set to produce the project through his Appian Way shingle McGee is described as a “beach bum gumshoe” and the prospect of a Travis McGee movie has intrigued plenty of filmmakers in the past, so it’ll certainly be interesting to see what Mangold brings to the property. The filmmaker has experience in a number of genres, from action-comedy (Knight and Day) to dramatic biopic (Walk the Line) to Western (3:10 to Yuma), and this film will give him the opportunity to delve into the mystery genre. The adaptation currently has a screenplay draft by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River), but Mangold usually has a hand in the scripts for his projects so one imagines he’ll take a pass.
Mangold is currently developing a sequel to The Wolverine at Fox, but all have been quick to caution that the follow-up won’t move forward until Mangold and Hugh Jackman settle on a worthwhile Wolverine story. He’s also developing an adaptation of the novel Three Little Worlds with Reese Witherspoon poised to star, so it’s unclear where The Deep Blue Good-By fits into his schedule. Read a synopsis for the book below.
Travis McGee is a self-described beach bum who won his houseboat in a card game. He’s also a knight-errant who’s wary of credit cards, retirement benefits, political parties, mortgages, and television. He only works when his cash runs out, and his rule is simple: He’ll help you find whatever was taken from you, as long as he can keep half.
McGee isn’t particularly strapped for cash, but how can anyone say no to Cathy, a sweet backwoods girl who’s been tortured repeatedly by her manipulative ex-boyfriend Junior Allen? What Travis isn’t anticipating is just how many women Junior has torn apart and left in his wake. Enter Junior’s latest victim, Lois Atkinson.
Frail and broken, Lois can barely get out of bed when Travis finds her, let alone keep herself alive. But Travis turns into Mother McGee, giving Lois new life as he looks for the ruthless man who steals women’s spirits and livelihoods. But he can’t guess how violent his quest is soon to become. He’ll learn the hard way that there must be casualties in this game of cat and mouse. [Amazon]