Figuring that an injection of new writing talent might help the project work itself free of development hell, 20th Century Fox has turned to Dennis Lehane, someone with just a little bit of crime writing experience for Travis McGee, which Leonardo DiCaprio is interested in.
The planned film, based on John D. McDonald’s book Deep Blue Good-By, features the McGee character, a Floridian sleuth who moonlights as a treasure hunter. He’s featured in 21 novels, and Fox rightly figures that they could be franchise material if the first – simply being called Travis McGee at this point, in a Jack Reacher-style – works.
Trouble is, it’s been lingering on the slow burn development stove for years now, with Robert Schwentke, Oliver Stone and Paul Greengrass considering directing and Mark Boal and David James Kelly among those having taken a whack at the script.
So now Lehane – whose novels have formed the source for movies such as Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island – is on board. This would mark his second script, after original work Animal Rescue, which is now being turned into a drama featuring Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace.
DiCaprio has been flirting with this one for almost as long as it’s been around, but hasn’t committed to star on the basis of any scripts so far. Fox will no doubt be keeping its corporate fingers crossed that the lure of Lehane snags Leo’s services.