Despite his clear talent and reputation for attracting solid names to his movies, Paul Greengrass has been suffering through what can only be described as a severely rough patch in the years since the last Bourne film. Now, with Memphis, his planned film about Martin Luther King Jr’s later life and assassination, shoved back on his schedule following concerns from the King estate and cold feet on the part of Universal, he’s now seriously considering Fox’s adaptation of John D MacDonald’s book The Deep Blue Good-Bye.
The film version, which is currently called Travis McGee after the main character, follows the misadventures of a private eye who also happens to moonlight as a treasure hunter and occasional repo man. He agrees to leave the confines of his comfy Florida houseboat (called The Busted Flush) to go looking for riches supposedly buried by a Second World War soldier.
Though Leonardo DiCaprio has been attached to produce and possibly star for ages, the movie has had real trouble locking down a director, with the likes of Robert Schwentke, Gary Fleder, and, most recently, Oliver Stone circling the job then passing. Now Fox is hoping to lure Greengrass in, though there’s a chance DiCaprio might not be able to commit to it immediately given his busy diary with Baz Luhrmann's version of The Great Gatsby.
But there’s another possibility also pinging on Greengrass’ radar – Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have met with him about tackling Here There Be Monsters, a Brian Helgeland-scripted tale of a British naval officer who is wrongly stripped of his commission and then hired by a wealthy shipping magnate to investigate missing vessels. You can probably guess what the culprit is from the title. That one, however, is still wide open as a directing gig…