It looks like Christian Bale has set his sights on a potential action/crime franchise, as Variety reports that the Academy Award winner is in talks to play Travis McGee in an adaptation of the 1964 John D. MacDonald novel, The Deep Blue Good-By.
MacDonald wrote 21 novels starring the McGee character over a twenty year period, from 1964 to 1984. Two film adaptations have been made; first came 1970’s Darker Than Amber starring Rod Taylor, then the 1983 made-for-TV-movie Travis McGee (based on the novel The Empty Copper Sea) starring Sam Elliot.
Unlike other detectives in crime fiction, Travis McGee is neither a police officer or licensed private detective. Instead, he considers himself a “salvage consultant,” who recovers others’ lost property for a fee (managing to get himself into trouble along the way, with plenty of bad guy fighting and woman wooing).
The Deep Blue Good-By is set to be directed by Walk the Line and The Wolverine helmer James Mangold. The project will reunite Mangold and Bale, who worked together on 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma, and put Mangold’s currently-gestating Untitled Wolverine Sequel on the back burner.
The script for the film was written by fellow crime author Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island), and will be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson-Killoran (The Ides of March), and Amy Robinson (Julie & Julia, For Love of the Game).
Here’s the official synopsis for The Deep Blue Good-By, the first in the Travis McGee novels:
TRAVIS MCGEE. He’s 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….