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Leonardo DiCaprio Boards The Busted Flush For THE DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY!

Beaks here...

For many fans of hard-boiled detective yarns, John D. MacDonald's Fort Lauderdale-based "salvage consultant" Travis McGee is right there in the pantheon with Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade and the Continental Op. But while those characters have all appeared in at least one classic film, no one has yet to successfully transfer MacDonald's beach bum to the big screen. Enter Leonardo DiCaprio. And Peter Chernin. And Dana Stevens, the screenwriter of BLINK, FOR LOVE OF THE GAME and LIFE OR SOMETHING LIKE IT. According to Variety, this is the team that's assembled at 20th Century Fox to tackle THE DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY, the first of twenty-one McGee novels MacDonald typed out before his death in 1986. If you're trying to remain upbeat about this team getting the character right, you're ignoring the "at 20th Century Fox" part of this sentence and hoping that DiCaprio's involvement will bring in talented, headstrong director who can keep micromanager du jour Tom Rothman at bay - if such a director exists. (Someone set the time machine for 1990 and shanghai George Armitage.) Though I've never read a single Travis McGee novel (for shame), I have several friends who are fanatical about these books, and they're all depressed by the idea of Fox fucking them up. The studio has been developing THE DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY for a couple of years or so (RUNAWAY JURY's competent Gary Fleder was set to direct at one point), but this is the first I've heard of DiCaprio's participation. As always, he's got a great nose for material. But can you buy him as a 6'3", 205-pound former college football star? And are these physical qualities necessary to doing McGee justice? I know we've got a bunch of MacDonald fans out there. What do y'all think?

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  • Sept. 29, 2009, 12:35 a.m. CST

    They should set this... In Space

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 12:43 a.m. CST

    So they wanna make a franchise, eh?

    by YackBacker

    Leo's getting a little older, he could do with a regular character for a film series. And if it does real well, maybe they'll repackage those books and sell them with Leo's mug on the cover! Marketing this will be as smooth as Bar Rafaeli's freshly shorn quim.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 12:45 a.m. CST

    Travis McGee

    by Hipshot

    There was one theatrical McGee movie, "Darker Than Amber" with Rod Taylor as McGee. The climactic fight scene with William Smith (in a ship state room) is one of the best ever filmed, and it is obvious they are actually hurting each other. If DiCaprio takes this seriously...maybe. Hell, probably better than the Sam Elliot TV movie of "A Tan And Sandy Silence". "Darker than Amber" wasn't successful at the BO, but director Robert Clouse probably got "Enter The Dragon" based on that damn fight.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 12:50 a.m. CST


    by justinvsky1

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 12:51 a.m. CST

    Is Tavis McGee related to Tits McGee?

    by YackBacker

    Cuz that'd be a neat cameo by Tits.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 12:53 a.m. CST

    The Deep Blue Di-caprio

    by justinvsky1

    Sounds kinda cool. I just cannot wait for Shutter Island. SO PUMPED for that.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 1:12 a.m. CST

    I was just watching The Beach last night

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Is this a sequel?

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 1:14 a.m. CST

    How many in-development projects does Dicaprio have now?

    by bbbbeeeennnn

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 1:48 a.m. CST


    by mrbeaks

    Holy shit, that's a great fight. Love watching William Smith kick ass.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Damn you Tom Rothman!

    by Cervantes

    There, I feel better now.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 2:08 a.m. CST

    looks like George Clooney in the corner pic

    by Meadowe

    And he's (DiCaprio) gonna buff up for the role in this fliq.....then lose it all to try to get in Batman Begins III/The Dark Knight II

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 2:09 a.m. CST

    btw saw rothbitch in the wolverine dvd

    by Meadowe

    talking about being faithful to the source material.....yeah whatever YIPPEE KAI-YAY MOTHER(GUNSHOT)!!!!!!!

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 2:36 a.m. CST


    by CarlThorMark1978

    I read on Wiki that his favorite TV show is the original TZ so I have to give the guy some props for having good taste. Looking forward to Inception and I hope that it's more TZ then Matrix.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 4:02 a.m. CST

    Too bad.

    by Fatesmith

    If a Travis McGee movie were made back in the 1960's, I would have cast Steve McQueen. In 2009 I'd cast Daniel Craig --if he weren't already James Bond. The point being, Travis McGee is a tough guy and has to be played by someone who can be convincing in that regard. Di Caprio is a good actor, but it's not a criticism to say that he's lacking in that area. Now, if he's been cast as the villain that would be terrific. If he's McGee, well, I'll still have the books I guess but I'll pass on the movie.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 5:32 a.m. CST

    Fuck that rat-faced little cunt.

    by elharlock

    Us fans of the series wait so long for a decent adaptation to get off the ground and we get this? Maybe if he's producing or something, but casting him as Mcgee? That's totally wrong for the character.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 7:13 a.m. CST

    6'3" former college star. What was he - free safety?

    by JackRabbitSlim

    6'3" 205 is not exactly the Herculean proportions of the big-time college star. For an inside linebacker at a major university, you'd need to be around 6'2", 250. For defensive end, 6'4', 280. And for the big boys at offensive tackle, youre looking around 6'5", 320+. So, in a word, no, Leo is not a particurlaly believable college football star.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 7:22 a.m. CST

    DiCaprio as Travis McGee= WTF

    by Laserhead

    Good Christ-- McGee is a MAN, not a boy, and a big man, physically imposing, ex-college football star. He's weathered, cynical, worldly and really, really tough. None of the above describes DiCaprio. Pitt would have been a good choice, or someone who can convey the same age and bearing. Nothing personal against DiCaprio, but anytime he plays anything other than a 16-25 year old, I can't buy him as an actor.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 7:26 a.m. CST

    McQueen and Craig are great casting choices

    by Laserhead

    But, of course, not possible. Who's a good choice between our modern options? Um... have to give this some thought... but I'd love to see a decent McGee film series.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 7:28 a.m. CST

    Is it about that chess computer being dismantled?

    by ricarleite2

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 8:39 a.m. CST

    No more more movies with "Deep Blue" in the title please...

    by FlickaPoo's fucking distracting. And confusing. <P>Other words to avoid:<P> Begins. Terminal. Rising. Impact. Maximum. Dead. Transformers.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 8:40 a.m. CST

    DiCaprio's grown on me over the years...

    by The Bunglermoose the point where I actually enjoy his work. But I'm not sure he's the right fit for this. I could probably overlook the "non-ex-football player" thing, but as some of the others pointed out, it's going to be some time before DiCaprio is going to be believable portraying a man of his actual age. Daniel Craig would be a good fit. There's nothing that really precludes him from doing this, is there?

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 8:56 a.m. CST

    There are so many better choices for the role.

    by elharlock

    The already mentioned Daniel Craig would be great. Thomas Jane; Brad Pitt; Viggo Mortensen; Hugh Jackman; Christian Bale; Val Kilmer; Josh Brolin. Hell, Matthew McConaughey could use a good movie for once... Essentially, even Patrick Swayze would be a better choice than rat-face at this point.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Oh nooooooo...

    by Boxcutter

    Please don't do this. Or reincarnate Rod Taylor. And who's Meyer: Jonah fucking Hill? Agree with most of the above: McGee is a BLOKE, Leo plays CHAPS. Young ones. And no amount of Rhodesian accents or druggy Boston drawls can camouflage that girly face. Get a man, Fox, or piss off. Worthington, Bana, Eckhart...Christ even Butler could pull it off if he works on the accent. I should just stop reading stories about Fox. Too depressing.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Might be a good flick...

    by Billy Oblivion

    but it won't be Travis McGee. Rod Taylor and William Smith throwing down? I have GOT to see that. Is the movie otherwise watchable?

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 10:11 a.m. CST

    No no no no NOOOOO!

    by Unscripted

    Not from Fox. And not Babyface Half-Nelson. Ray Stevenson is absolutely BORN to play the role. He's right, time is right, Fox is wrong, DiCaprio is SO wrong... and Deep Blue Goodbye is not the best place to start. Too dated. They need to skip the first four books, which were experimental as JDM found his balance with the character. MAYBE pick it up with The Quick Red Fox.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Ray Stevenson

    by Unscripted

    I watched Stevenson with fascination in Rome and told many he would make a great McGee. Punisher sucked but it showed he could handle the role as a quintessential American - and he's physically and temperamentally McGee all the way. This sucks so bad...

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Leo DiC is no Travis McGee. Get f'ckin' real!

    by kabong

    Who's playing the bad guy? Zac Efron? <P> Hollyweird's panzy corps strikes again.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 11:08 a.m. CST

    elharlock has a good idea...

    by Vlad the Inhaler

    ... with Matthew McConaughy as McGee. Physically, he's perfect for the part, and he's also processed of the same languid demeanor as MacDonald's gin-soaked knight errant. DiCaprio, of course, is absurdly wrong for the part.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Simon Baker?

    by Laserhead

    He could be cool; buff him up a little. No McConaughy, because no matter what he does, his character comes off as fundamentally being a moron. Clive Owen could do it if he spent some time lifting and got a tan.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Mr. Beaks

    by Hipshot

    My copy of "Darker Than Amber" is a bootleg from Sweden with Swedish subtitles! It's the only way I could get an unedited copy. It's like 5th generation. Do you know of a better source? Please please?

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Darker Than Amber

    by Hipshot

    Is actually a good movie. I saw it in the theater and remembered that damn fight for DECADES before I could get a copy. The acting is just fine...really, I think it had everything except a director who handles drama as well as he did action.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST

    McGee as a 6"3 football player

    by Flippadippa

    IIRC McGee went to college in the 1940s. Those dimensions are more believable in that context. Not crazy about this casting. Almost rather see Keanu.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 12:04 p.m. CST

    DiCaprio Blue Buttplug

    by LimpdickSherlock

    It's just so <i>COOL</i> to buy character/book RIGHTS... even if not getting (it) it done RIGHT.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 12:13 p.m. CST

    McGee Will Always Be...

    by Marlowespade

    ...mid-70's Paul Newman to me. He would have been perfect.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST


    by mrbeaks

    Thinking I'll just buy a used VHS tape. If it's good, I'll start bugging The New Beverly to screen it - and get Rod Taylor to stop by for a Q&A if he's available (and in town). He's eighty, but, hey, he just turned up in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS!

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Paul Newman as McGee...

    by Macon

    ...would be perfect. I like DiCaprio, he's got skills, but physically I can't see him as McGee. (He could be excellent as evil handsome creep Junior Allen though.) I've always thought Neil McDonough would make a good Trav. He's gotta work on that tan but otherwise he's great... And Peter Jackson as Meyer. And start with Deadly Shade of Gold.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Love the Trav McGee books.

    by Orbots Commander

    It's great it's in development at a studio. It sucks that the studio happens to be a fuck-up like Fox. <p> I also can't see Dicaprio, as good an actor as he is, as John D. Macdonald's detective. If anything, this has Pitt written all over it; it'd be a great vehicle for him. McGee is supposed to be an older, former college football star, early-retirement guy in his late 30's-early 40's. Leo still looks 25.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 2:19 p.m. CST

    And Zach Galifianakis as Meyer.

    by Orbots Commander

    He'd kill in that part.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST


    by Macon

    Yep. He'd be great. Peter Jackson was always my impossible fantasy pick for Meyer...but Galifianakis is not only a (now) realistic choice but a great one.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 3:18 p.m. CST

    William Smith interview

    by Flippadippa

    He did a terrific interview in Shock Cinema magazine some years back, must-read. he has had some life. Told a story about him and Lee Marvin mixing it up with some Hells Angels in LA (Marvin couldn't throw a punch, apparently). Talked about having a woman take a shot at him for killing Nolte in Rich Man, poor Man. And he was lined up for Saxon's Role in ETD. Wild stuff.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 3:30 p.m. CST

    McGee also served in the USMC

    by Continentalop

    in Korea. <P> BTW - William Smith is a fucking Renaissance Man of Manliness.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 3:43 p.m. CST

    by Flippadippa

    Yeah, his language skills made him gold over there. And made him a shoo-in for his Red Dawn role.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Though slip F-18 no longer exists....

    by Mel Garga

    I still get Travis McGee questions once a week. The plaque commemorating the novels is in the marina office. People come from all over to see it.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Rod Taylor

    by Mgmax

    "He's eighty, but, hey, he just turned up in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS!" Where he looked 110.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 7:05 p.m. CST

    This has the potential to be very, very ugly

    by bravogolfhotel

    I've got a lot of time for DiCaprio, but Rothman's Fox can't even get X-Men movies right, let alone something as idiosyncratic as the McGee novels.

  • Sept. 29, 2009, 10:05 p.m. CST

    cover art looks like Billy Bob Thornton

    by Stifler's Mom


  • Sept. 29, 2009, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Yeah, no way

    by captzeep

    I loved all these books, but like all series detective fiction they are all kind of the same. It's B material, but since they don't make B movies anymore they should just make it a TV movie for Spike. DiCaprio as Travis McGee? That is just really dumb. But the real man is a dinosaur.

  • Sept. 30, 2009, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Agreed, this is a bad idea...

    by DrMeyer

    Hollywood has tried this over and over, and only Darker Than Amber got close. I don't know of a tall, gangly actor working today who could play McGee. And I'd far rather Bill Goldman did the script, but they're not likely to listen to me... As to Leo, he might do okay, but he's still too short. If anybody has a better suggestion, though, I'd love to hear it. At least they're staying away from Tom Cruise. Dr. Ludwig Meyer

  • Sept. 30, 2009, 12:25 a.m. CST

    Oh, I forgot...

    by DrMeyer

  • Sept. 30, 2009, 12:27 a.m. CST

    McGee tv series attempt.

    by DrMeyer

    They tried to cast Chuck Conners in this role. John wouldn't approve it. Does that tell you how stupid Hollywood can be?

  • Sept. 30, 2009, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Leo as McGee simply won't work.

    by LeftFoot

    When you look at Leo you see boy or young man. Travis McGee was blond, 6ft 6in and HUGE. McGee was not a young man-boy. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; He was incredibly tough and sometimes spent months in medical recovery. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Sometimes he lost. I don't think he ever had a 100% win. I can see a buff George Clooney playing him. Leo? No way.

  • Nov. 24, 2010, 8:29 p.m. CST

    I've got him, the McGee we need

    by rocketgirl

    Donal Logue of Terriers. All they got to do is clean him up a little and lighten his hair. He's tough, sensitive and smart. What's not to like?