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Dennis Lehane’s name is becoming a proven brand in Hollywood as more A-listers gravitate to the author and screenwriter’s prose … and his past works. Ben Affleck broke on the scene with an adaptation of Lehan’s best-selling Gone Baby Gone. The two plan to collaborate again on a feature-length version of the author’s book Live By Night. And now Lehane’s locking up another powerful player with which he previously worked.
That would be Leonardo DiCaprio, who teamed with Martin Scorsese for a breathtaking adaptation of Lehane’s mesmerizing Shutter Island. Now Variety is reporting that Lehane is being pursued by Fox to write Travis McGee, a World War II drama that once had DiCaprio attached to star. The latest, on behalf of the trade, says that actor’s current involvement is “still being worked out.”
The project is based on John D. MacDonald’s The Deep Blue Good-By, the first in a series of 21 novels centered around McGee, a Florida-based detective. It was published in 1964, and follows a treasure smuggled home by a soldier after WWII. It’s set in and around the Florida Keys, and could be the start of a lucrative franchise is Fox gets DiCaprio to appear as the protagonist in a handful of features.
But the story isn’t an easy one to crack. Variety says different drafts of Travis McGee have gone under the pens of both Oscar winner Mark Boal and David James Kelly. Still, this is right in Lehane’s wheelhouse. If you haven’t read the books he has penned with characters Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, run to a library and grab the set. If Lehane can figure out McGee for Fox and DiCaprio, we could be in for a special run of deep, rich mysteries at the multiplexes.