Paul Greengrass Eyes TRAVIS MCGEE And HERE THERE BE MONSTERS As Next Film?

Having seen biopics of the late American icons Jimi Hendrix and Martin Luther King Jr both deep-sixed by their respective family estates & reputation protectors, director Paul Greengrass deserves a break and we dearly hope he can get a project that interests him off the ground soon. Or at least a movie he is half-interested in making as I can't imagine he would have the energy to pitch another project outright at this point. According to Deadline, after Universal's knee-jerk dumping of the MLK project Memphis last month and the apparent lack of interest from other studio's in battling against the estate protectors, he has now decided to delay that biopic for at least a year and direct something else in the mean time. Greengrass is now mulling over several scripts before deciding what to pull the trigger on, though his heart at the moment seems to be with an adaptation of John D. MacDonald's 1964 mystery novel The Deep Blue Good-By, a property which has most recently caught the eye of Leonardo DiCaprio. This of course delighted 20th Century Fox brass, who have forever seen the potential for a franchise based on the lead character Travis McGee. McGee is a shaggy detective who appeared in 21 novels written by John D. MacDonald and Fox's movie would make no bones about the franchise potential, calling the movie simply, Travis McGee. The first story in the long volume series is set in the 60's and tracks McGee who - struggling for cash takes a job as a Florida-based €œsalvage consultant€ (he recovers client's lost property in return for half the value of the estate in fees) which is the catalyst for an adventure that finds him on the hunt for treasure hidden by a soldier after World War II. Having had trouble finding a leading man capable of bringing the stories to life for years, Fox thought their luck was in last year when Oliver Stone became interested in directing DiCaprio in the movie but they both moved on to other projects. DiCaprio did however stay on board as producer and still seems interested in starring. Though if I were Greengrass, I wouldn't cling on to the hope too tightly that DiCaprio will ever make Travis McGee as he simply has too many films he wants to make and it might be a good idea to find someone else or move on completely. If nothing else, DiCaprio wouldn't be able to make the movie until he has completed work on both the J Edgar Hoover biopic with Clint Eastwood and The Great Gatsby with Baz Luhrmann, and that wouldn't be until at least 12 months from now. Mike Fleming at Deadline seems to believe his next project will be somewhere else and I would agree. Other movies that Greengrass is mulling over include the awesome sounding Here There Be Monsters, written by his Green Zone writer Brian Helgeland (Robin Hood, L.A. Confidential) and based on an original idea by Legendary Pictures head Thomas Tull. Co-setup at Warner Bros; It focuses on British naval officer John Paul Jones, who's wrongly stripped of his commission and is hired by a rich shipping magnate to investigate the disappearance of his merchant ships in the North Atlantic. Jones and his shipmates slowly realize that it's the work of a sea serpent, and they use unconventional yet visionary naval strategies to battle the creature and stay alive. Though Greengrass is just one of a few directors talking with WB over the film and perhaps they will go with someone more commercial minded. Certainly we would hope Greengrass would be interested in something a little more cerebral. Though we know he has been interested in making a sea-faring adventure of some kind recently having briefly attached himself to a 2008 Dreamworks biopic of the ruthless pirate Blackbeard but also an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island. In his original report Fleming does mention 'several scripts' that Greengrass is considering and although it's a vague term, presumably he means more than two and perhaps one of the above projects is still on the cards? There was also some whispers of a Julian Assange project earlier this year, something much more likely to be in Greengrass' wheelhouse. And we shouldn't really forget that the Oscar winning screenwriter of The Social Network - Aaron Sorkin - has a script for The Trial of the Chicago 7 that has been brewing for the four five years but seems to have been just forgotten about along the way. Out of everything that sounds the most-Greengrass like and surely given Sorkin's name on the script, somebody somewhere HAS to be thinking about reviving it?
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.