Bale, Pike slated for THE DEEP BLUE GOODBYE

John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee appears ready to return to the big screen. Almost two years after Dennis Lehane was hired to adapt THE DEEP BLUE GOODBYE, the project has two leads to go with a director.

Variety is reporting that Rosamund Pike (GONE GIRL, JACK REACHER) is joining Christian Bale (Nolan’s BATMAN trilogy, AMERICAN HUSTLE) to star in THE DEEP BLUE GOODBYE, the first novel to feature MacDonald’s iconic protagonist.

Travis is a former navy man that lives on a houseboat (the Busted Flush) and acts as a “salvage consultant” and helps folks out for a large fee. He is described as a “knight in slightly tarnished armor” and usually ended up aiding a lovely lady.

McGee isn’t particularly strapped for cash, but how can anyone say no to Cathy, a sweet backwoods girl who’s been tortured repeatedly by her manipulative ex-boyfriend Junior Allen? What Travis isn’t anticipating is just how many women Junior has torn apart and left in his wake. Enter Junior’s 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 women’s spirits and livelihoods. But he can’t guess how violent his quest is soon to become. He’ll learn the hard way that there must be casualties in this game of cat and mouse.

TDBG was publshed in 1964 and was the first of 21 books to featuring McGee. It seems certain that Fox is hoping this will become a new franchise. Travis McGee hit the silver screen in 1970 when Rod Taylor played him in Darker than Amber. In 1983, a telefilm (based on The Empty Copper Sea) was made, for ABC, with Sam Elliot as McGee.

James Mangold (WALK THE LINE, THE WOLVERINE) will direct. This is a reunion for Mangold and Bale, they previously worked together on 3:10 TO YUMA. Scott Frank (WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES, GET SHORTY) will be the latest writer to take a whack at the screenplay. Before him. Dennis Lehane gave it a go.

Frankly, I don’t see a single thing here is displeases me. Bale and Mangold delivered the goods with 3:10 TO YUMA and I have no problem seeing Bale as McGee. I liked the news that Lehane was writing the script, but Scott Frank did great jobs on his adaptations of Elmore Leonard and Lawrence Block.