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Paul Greengrass Pushes ‘Memphis’; Circling Travis McGee Adaptation

Written by on April 25, 2011 

Paul Greengrass having his Martin Luther King film Memphis cancelled by Universal was something that I was disappointed to see. He’s one of the more interesting directors of his generation, and his interest in politics made him a great choice to take on the influential civil rights leader. He doesn’t seem to be letting it slow him down, though, as Deadline reports that the director might make his next film an adaptation of John D. MacDonald‘s novel The Deep Blue Good-by, with Memphis being pushed back by at least a year.

The film is being set up at 20th Century Fox, with Appian Way partners Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson-Killoran, who would be producing with Amy Robinson, Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark. DiCaprio could play the lead, and it may commence a franchise. Oliver Stone was going to direct with the actor in the lead, but has since moved on to Savages.

The original novel follows Travis McGee, a beach bum who lives in a houseboat, called The Busted Flush. As a way of earning money, he recovers property for clients in what’s called a “salvage consultant” job. The book was the first of a 21-novel series, which certainly gives it room for follow-up installments.

Greengrass is also said to be considering, among other things, Here There Be Monsters, which is based on an idea by Legendary Pictures’ Thomas Tull and scripted by Brian Helgeland. It tells of a British naval officer, John Paul Jones, who has to battle a sea serpent with his shipmates.

I’d prefer to see him take on the Travis McGee film, if only because it sounds like it could do well, which would give him clout to get Memphis off the ground. I also prefer it because something like Monsters sounds a little too silly for him; while Deep Blue Good-by doesn’t exactly sound like Green Zone when it comes to subject matter, it might fit with his style better.

Do any of these projects sound like they would be good for Greengrass? Which would you prefer?

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