Dennis Lehane and Leonardo DiCaprio Working Together on Fox’s Travis McGee
Move over, Ben Affleck. Looks like Dennis Lehane and Leonardo DiCaprio have a bit of a bromance going on. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lehane will write the screenplay for Travis McGee, an adaptation DiCaprio is both producing and starring in.
Travis McGee is based on John D. MacDonald’s The Deep Blue Good-by, the first of 21 novels in the Travis McGee series. (Sequel potential, anyone?) The mystery series follows main character Travis McGee, a detective with neither a police badge or a private-eye license—he’s a “salvage consultant” who recovers valuable property for his desperate clients, for the nominal fee of half that property’s value.
Sounds simple, right? Wrong. Come on folks, since when does Leonardo DiCaprio play straightforward characters? And since when does Dennis Lehane write simple stories? Remember, these are two guys who are already connected through three of Lehane’s dramatic works: Shutter Island, Running Out of Dog (in development), and Live By Night (in pre-production).
20th Century Fox sees franchise potential in the series, and since the book series spans a number of years in McGee’s life, it doesn’t seem farfetched to imagine DiCaprio playing him for multiple films. DiCaprio hasn’t been in any sequels in the past (his characters tend to die at the end: Titanic, The Departed, etc.), but hey, there’s a first time for everything.
Unlike his previous screenplays, Travis McGee is not based on one of Lehane’s own works. But the crime writer is more than qualified for the task. Just consider his book-to-movie track record: Mystic River was directed by Clint Eastwood, Gone Baby Gone starring Casey Affleck was directed by Ben Affleck, and DiCaprio starred in the Martin Scorcese-directed Shutter Island.
Plus, both DiCaprio and Affleck are producers on Live by Night (which Affleck is also directing and starring in). Still need more Lehane-penned films to look forward to? Well, Animal Rescue is in post-production, Depravity is in development, and oh! One more: DiCaprio is producing Running Out of Dog, based on a Lehane short story.