I don’t really know the Travis McGee books. I’ve seen Darker Than Amber (which Phil wrote about for us!), and I’ve read The Deep Blue Good-By, which is the first book in the series by John D. MacDonald. But from those two things I got a sense of Travis McGee and his adventures.
Paul Greengrass seems like an intriguing choice for a movie adaptation of McGee, mainly because he’s so much not someone I’d expect to do it. There’s a pulpiness to McGee that is missing from Greengrass’ work, but that is obviously in HIM - he did want to do Watchmen for a while. And he could be doing The Deep Blue Good-By as a project before he starts up Memphis again.
Let’s take a step back: Greengrass was going to do Memphis, about Martin Luther King Jr’s final days, at Universal before the studio backed out because of pressure from the King estate. The timing on that - he wanted the film released on MLK weekend, obviously - meant that everything got screwed up and Memphis had to be shelved for a year or so. He’s been looking for stuff to fill the gap. One possible answer: The Deep Blue Good-By.
Leonardo DiCaprio has been attached to this film for a while now; if Greengrass is intriguingly left field for the film, DiCaprio’s just wrong for McGee. The character is six foot four and two hundred pounds, an ex-footballer and soldier. Now he lives on a houseboat and takes cases - his fee is ‘half.’
Anyway, all of this is up in the air and schedules have to fall into place. I would like to see Greengrass working again, and it’ll be interesting to see him tackle something non-political. Although since The Deep Blue Good-By is about a soldier returning home (from WWII in the book), I see where Greengrass can get political with it all. But maybe Leo’s schedule will keep him out of this. I trust Greengrass to cast the hell out of the role.