Christian Bale is eyeing the iconic literary role of Travis McGee in the upcoming The Deep-Blue Good-by, set to be helmed by his 3:10 to Yuma director, James Mangold. Variety has the news, reporting that Bale is in early talks to play the central character behind the first book in John D. MacDonald's popular mystery series. Published in 1964, it is officially described as follows:
Travis McGee is a self-described beach bum who won his houseboat in a card game. Heís also a knight-errant whoís wary of credit cards, retirement benefits, political parties, mortgages, and television. He only works when his cash runs out, and his rule is simple: Heíll help you find whatever was taken from you, as long as he can keep half.
McGee isnít particularly strapped for cash, but how can anyone say no to Cathy, a sweet backwoods girl whoís been tortured repeatedly by her manipulative ex-boyfriend Junior Allen? What Travis isnít anticipating is just how many women Junior has torn apart and left in his wake. Enter Juniorís latest victim, Lois Atkinson.
Frail and broken, Lois can barely get out of bed when Travis finds her, let alone keep herself alive. But Travis turns into Mother McGee, giving Lois new life as he looks for the ruthless man who steals womenís spirits and livelihoods. But he canít guess how violent his quest is soon to become. Heíll learn the hard way that there must be casualties in this game of cat and mouse.
The McGee series, which includes an additional 20 entries, is being eyed as a potential big-screen franchise for 20th Century Fox. Leonardo DiCaprio, who is producing through Appian Way alongside Jennifer Davisson-Killoran, was planning to play the McGee role at one point.
Dennis Lehane, the author responsible for novels like Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island, has provided the most recent screenplay adaptation with earlier drafts having arrived from Kario Salem and Dana Stevens.