Dennis Lehane Reteams With Leonardo DiCaprio on Fox's 'Travis McGee' (Exclusive)

Dennis Lehane Headshot - P 2012
Getty Images

Dennis Lehane Headshot - P 2012

Lehane will write the screenplay for the DiCaprio vehicle, which Peter Chernin is producing.

Dennis Lehane is reteaming with Leonardo DiCaprio on 20th Century Fox’s crime pic Travis McGee.

Lehane, one the authors whose books Hollywood just loves to adapt, is set to write the screenplay for the DiCaprio vehicle, which is based on John D. MacDonald’s 1964 mystery novel The Deep Blue Good-by

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The project marks the fourth pairing of Lehane and DiCaprio. Lehane wrote the novel Shutter Island, which starred DiCaprio, as well as the short story Running Out of Dog, which DiCaprio is developing through his Appian Way banner. DiCaprio is also a producer on Live by Night, which Ben Affleck is prepping as his directorial follow-up to Argo and is based on Lehane’s novel.

Travis McGee would mark Lehane’s first film adaptation that isn’t based on one of his works (though he has written for the critically acclaimed HBO series The Wire and Boardwalk Empire as well as ABC’s Castle). But Lehane would seem an ideal match for the late MacDonald’s works. Both authors have been hailed for elevating the mystery genre. MacDonald’s novel The Green Ripper won the National Book Award in 1980.

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Deep Blue Good-by marked the first of 21 novels featuring the self-described “salvage consultant” McGee and is seen by Fox as a potential franchise. The studio has been developing an adaptation since 2001 and the project has attracted names such as Paul Greengrass, Oliver Stone and Gary Fleder. 

Appian Way partners DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson-Killoran are producing the film alongside Amy Robinson and Peter Chernin. Dana Stevens and Kario Salem penned an earlier draft.

Best-selling author Lehane has become a go-to writer for A-list talent. His novels Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone were made into films by Clint Eastwood and Affleck, respectively. He wrote the screenplay based on his short story Animal Rescue, which is in production with a cast that includes Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace.

He is repped by IPG’s Amy Schiffman.

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