James Mangold Assumes 'The Deep Blue Good-by' from Oliver Stone
Way back in 2010, we heard that director Oliver Stone was considering taking on an adaptation of John D. MacDonald's novel The Deep Blue Good-by from 1964, featuring recurring character Travis McGee. Before that, Leonardo DiCaprio was circling the lead role back in 2009, but it appears both talents have fallen away from the project. Deadline reports The Wolverine and Walk the Line director James Mangold is in talks to direct the mystery adapted by author Dennis Lehane. And while DiCaprio isn't starring in the film anymore, he's still on board as producer through his own Appian Way production banner. More below!
The Deep Blue Good-by is the first in a 21-volume series featuring Travis McGee, 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. Now the question is who will step up ito the lead role with DiCaprio out of the running. There's plenty of young stars who could make this their own, but the part feels tailored to an actor in their 30s or 40s. Any suggestions?
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There's not much of a chance with this one. McGee is a pretty laid back, very capable man who is very much an outsider. He's also a big man. The way Hollywood cast the midget Tom Cruise to play Jack Reacher is a clear indication of how badly Hollywood goes about these adaptations. Not only was Cruise too small in stature, he and the writer and director were small in the outsider integrity and dignity and moral code possessed by Reacher. They were and are small men with small inner lives attempting to fill the shoes of huge men that are way out of their league. The movie Reacher just skimmed the surface of guys like Reacher and McGee without a clue to the depths of which these kinds of men live their lives. I just don't think anyone in Hollywood possesses the world view and moral code of guys like Reacher and McGee. I can't see any actor around who has that kind of inner life to tap into to play these men of high character and intense lone-wolf world view. The last actor I can think of who did this was Paul Newman in excellent film directed by Martin Ritt, Hombre; and perhaps, but in a very different way, Cool Hand Luke. Cool Hand Luke was a loner, but the world crushed him. The world does not crush man such as Reacher or McGee and neither man suffers fools gladly nor caters to the herd mentality like Cruise and the rest of Hollywood does. Not much hope here, but still there's a slim chance and I await to see if they can succeed. Or if they will fail miserably and water it down for the mass mentality, unable to understand the McGee MacDonald created, let along present him that way.
Bo on Mar 5, 2014
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