Paul Greengrass Eyes 'Travis McGee' For Next Film

by Kevin Jagernauth
April 25, 2011 8:42 AM
8 Comments
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Warner Bros. Talking To Greengrass And Other Directors For Sea Serpent Pic 'Here There Be Monsters'



Paul Greengrass has had a bit of a rough ride in his post-'Bourne' plans to get a new movie off the ground. Both his gestating Jimi Hendrix and Martin Luther King Jr. biopics were met with resistance from their respective estates, the former for not including the family in the early stages of the development and the latter for the somewhat controversial elements of the screenplay. And we've debated about the Playlist water cooler whether or not a studio will come along and save "Memphis," but it looks like that without the support of the MLK estate, that film is dead in the water and Greengrass has now started looking at new projects.

Deadline reports that Greengrass is considering a few projects and at the top of the pack is an adaptation of John D. MacDonald's "The Deep Blue Good-By," the first mystery novel in a series which is hoped to develop franchise potential over at Fox. "Travis McGee," as it is being called, centers on the titular Florida-based “salvage consultant,” a beach bum who specializes in recovering client's otherwise forever lost property in return for half the property's value as a fee — his first case finds him reluctantly in search of a treasure hidden by a soldier after World War II. The novel was first published in 1964 with the counterculture at the time evidently a key element to the tale. McGee's own growth along with the society's against the cultural backdrop is explored all the way through to the Reagan era of the '80's in MacDonald's 21 book series.

The project has been in the works for a while now. Last spring Leonardo DiCaprio and Oliver Stone were going to team on it but the former is shooting "J. Edgar" and is gearing up for "The Great Gatsby" while the latter has "Savages" ready to go this summer. DiCaprio, who is producing the picture, apparently still intends to star and his schedule could be a determining factor. But that's not all Greengrass is looking at.

Warner Bros. has approached him and a handful of directors with the awkwardly titled "Here There Be Monsters," a film about a disgraced British Naval officer who is hired by a rich shipping magnate to investigate the disappearance of his merchant ships in the North Atlantic, only to discover a giant sea serpent is the culprit. You can do better than that Greengrass. The director was also eyeing one of the many Julian Assange movies in the works earlier this year.

So, lots of options for the director but we hope the pieces finally come together on something soon, though we're bummed that "Memphis" likely won't be getting it's due in front of cameras anytime soon.

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More: Films, Travis McGee

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8 Comments

  • Mike White | April 27, 2011 1:49 AMReply

    I've written quite a bit about the cinematic McGee. Here's an early draft of my article:

    http://www.impossiblefunky.com/archives/issue_14/14_travismcgee.asp?IshNum=14=The Lonely Silver Screen

    The latest is in my book, Impossibly Funky.

  • jonathan | April 26, 2011 1:18 AMReply

    The title isn't really that awkward. It was a common phrase used on old maps to denote dangerous sea areas. Though "dragons" was usually used instead of "monsters".

  • Stephen | April 25, 2011 12:33 PMReply

    I'm a fan of Leo but he is all wrong for Travis McGee. Needs someone like Aaron Eckhart. Between this and Statham for Richard Stark's Parker, I have mixed feelings about some of my favorite crime series being adapted for the screen.

    Akim - I don't think Greengrass ever planned on painting MLK in a negative light, but rather a more truthful light which may have included showing some personality flaws.

  • Akim | April 25, 2011 11:27 AMReply

    Well, I'm personally glas that Greengrass won't be able to film ''Memphis''. What made him think that he could portray Martin Luther King in a negative light anf getaway with it?

  • Cheese | April 25, 2011 11:24 AMReply

    "Here There Be Monsters" has to be the dumbest title I've heard in a while. I don't think it even makes sense grammatically.

  • hmm | April 25, 2011 10:47 AMReply

    "I can’t imagine where people like him get the energy to keep plugging away and fighting to get new projects off the ground after all of his rejection."

    That's Hollywood. Paul Greengrass has it EASY.

  • Canoscan | April 25, 2011 9:41 AMReply

    Greengrass' "Memphis" getting torpedoed like that is still the biggest bummer of the year, for me. I was looking forward to that so much. Both of these projects he's flirting with sound like more "Fantastic Voyage" "remember when Greengrass was in talks to direct THAT?" speedbumps along the way to his next actual project.

    I can't imagine where people like him get the energy to keep plugging away and fighting to get new projects off the ground after all of his rejection. Especially coming off of a financial disaster like Green Zone. It's probably not as bad as it seems, but I hope he gets a meaty project going ASAP.

  • Kevin Klawitter | April 25, 2011 9:20 AMReply

    Funny... Oliver Stone's also attached to direct a movie titled "Memphis". Of course, his would be an adaptation of the Broadway musical, but it's an interesting bit of trivia.

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