Two of my very first 9mm interviewees, Lee Child and Jack Kerley, both highly recommended the Travis McGee crime novels by John D. MacDonald (pictured) as some of the best examples of the genre, ever. Child said: "There’s a lot of series of which I read every instalment - the best ever was probably the Travis McGee ... Twenty-one books long, set in Florida. And it’s just a great… you have your favourites amongst the 21, but there’s no weak ones, it’s just a very good series."
I'd heard of McGee as a famous detective, but had never read any of the books - so added MacDonald to my list of 'classic legends of the genre' that I need to get around to sooner rather than later (others on the American part of that list include Joseph Wambaugh, Ed McBain, Ross Macdonald, Sarah Paretsky, and Robert B. Parker, amongst others).
Then, I discovered in the past few days that Hollywood actually has some wheels in motion to bring the McGee books to the big screen. Earlier this month it was reported in a number of film-related publications that acclaimed director Oliver Stone is coming on board to develop (and potentially direct) a film entitled Travis McGee, with Leonardo DiCaprio signed up to star as the houseboat residing 'beach bum' of a detective.
The film will reportedly be based upon the first of the McGee novels, THE DEEP BLUE GOODBYE, in which McGee is searching for World War II treasure. The screenplay will be adapted by Dana Stevens, a former actress probably best known for penning the City of Angels film script, and creating the TV series What About Brian? Although for me personally, what stands out for me from her resume was the fact she wrote the screenplay for For Love of the Game, one of my favourite 'under-rated' sports movies.