Director James Mangold - The Wolverine, 3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line and Girl Interrupted (he also wrote the last two) - is onboard. Deadline reports the filmmaker is looking for an A-List talent; Fox is hoping that The Deep Blue Good-by, the first of MacDonald's 21-book series will be the beginning of a beautiful franchise.
Who do you see in the role? At the start of the series, McGee is somewhere in the thirty to mid-thirties age range, six foot two and as an ex-football player, he'll be broad-shouldered and husky, with a deep, dark tan from spending so much time between gigs, just hanging around on the boat and cruising. Rush' Chris Hemsworth could fit the bill nicely; he's got the brawn. Matthew McConaughey, while a tad bit older, has McGee's laid back style; he just needs to beef it up a bit from the lanky Rust Cole of True Detective. He famously lost 30 pounds for Dallas Buyers Club; for the sake of art and Travis McGee, it could be time to pack on a few this time around.
In the past McGee was played by Rod Taylor in the 1970 film version of Darker than Amber, while Sam Elliot wore the flip flops in a 1983 TV movie titled simply Travis McGee, although it was based on The Empty Copper Sky. Are you as crazy about the colorful titles as I am? And check out these vintage paperback covers. While the books have all been reprinted many times, I adore the pulpy feel of the originals with the broads on 'em. Here are the rest of the books, in order, beginning in 1964, and culminating with the final McGee tale, The Lonely Silver Rain in 1985. You'll notice a change of scenery starting with #15,1974's The Turquoise Lament where McGee himself is the cover boy. Whether it was because Travis McGee was so popular you didn't need the girl on the cover anymore, or whether the sexual politics of the 1970's dictated the new designs, those sexy, pulpy girl covers began to be replaced with less sultry, less exploitive images.