The character Travis McGee was created by mystery writer John D. MacDonald in his 1964 novel The Deep Blue Good-By. Since then, MacDonald has penned 20 additional books about the self-described “salvage consultant” who recovers lost property for clients. McGee is not a police officer or a licensed investigator, but rather a Florida beach bum who only takes jobs when his funds are low. The adaptation of this fascinating character’s fictional debut has been the object of desire for many directors over the years. At one point Oliver Stone was attached to direct Leonardo DiCaprio in the role, and it was reported that Paul Greengrass also had his sights set on the film for a time. According to The Wrap, The Wolverine director James Mangold is currently in negotiations to direct the first in what is expected to be a franchise of Travis McGee films.
Since DiCaprio’s contribution will now be as a producer rather than an actor, Mangold’s first order of business will be to find the star who can power the McGee character over a series of films. He will need someone who can portray a laid back demeanor with a deadly precision lurking beneath the surface.
As far as the script is concerned, novelist Dennis Lehane has completed the most recent draft. Lehane’s work is well known in the crime genre and his novels Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone, Baby, Gone have all been adapted into critically and commercially successful films.
While Mangold continues to pursue The Deep Blue Good-By, he is also balancing several other projects including another Wolverine film.