Christian Bale Circles Travis McGee Role in ‘Deep Blue Goodbye’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Christian Bale The Stand
Mike Marsland/Wireimage

Christian Bale is in early talks to star as Travis McGee in Fox’s adaptation of “The Deep Blue Goodbye.”

While there is no official offer, Bale has agreed to come on to star, and an offer should be coming shortly.

James Mangold just closed his deal to direct with Chernin Entertainment, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson-Killoran producing for Appian Way along with Amy Robinson.

Written by John D. MacDonald in 1964, the book is the first in a series of 21 that followed McGee, a self-described “salvage consultant” who recovers others’ property for a fee and along the way gets into trouble fighting bad guys and wooing women.

Dennis Lehane penned the script with Scott Frank working on the most recent draft.

Bale, Fox and Chernin recently worked together on “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” which bows on Dec. 12.

Bale and Mangold are repped by WME. Mangold is also repped by Management 360.

Lehane is repped by IPG and Frank is repped by CAA.

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  1. Robert Lucier says:

    Having read every Travis McGee book I believe the only person correct for the part is Tom Selleck. I actually see him in my mind as I reread the books.

  2. Rob Thompson says:

    Is there some reason no one wants Matthew McConaughey for this role? He seems perfect for it.

  3. I think Bale is a good bet and the best yet. The rest of the cast is shaping up very nicely as well.

  4. Larry Middleton says:

    Actors who portray characters in stage/movie productions rarely seem to match the physical description rendered by the author. Of all the actors cast as Fleming’s James Bond, an article I read said that Roger Moore was closest in appearance to Fleming’s Bond. Christian Bale is a fine actor and I agreed he would be an acceptable McGee. However, I now favor Patrick Warburton or Ted McGinley. Thank You.

  5. Bale good choice for McGee role. Have read all TM novels many times. One of my sons is named Travis John. The two made for TV movies were lacking. Rod Taylor good as McGee. Elliot seemed to be hooked on Nyquil. Set the movie in Florida as JM intended. How about Richard Karn as Meyer. You’re welcome.

  6. Recka Wuyts says:

    I like Bale and I think he can play the extra 3 inches of height needed, I think he can adjust to the hair and all the other cosmetics. His age is good and with him in the lead they will not have to skimp on the money to make it.

    I am really excited about this, would love to see several McGee films. I like all of the names I see attached from above.

  7. digglepub says:

    I like Bale as an actor, but he’s not Travis McGee. He’s not big enough, intimidating enough or rugged enough. Tatum might be good with a few more years and a little more mileage on him. I had to look him up too, but I agree that Hold McCallany is definitely a better choice for McGee. And I think that if this is going to end up a possible franchise, it’s far better to use a lesser known actor.

    Sigh… Christian Bale is not Travis McGee. Tom Cruise is not Jack Reacher. Come on, Hollywood, get it right. Of course, I know asses in seats is more important than making literary fans happy. So I guess we’ll see.

  8. kcomersr says:

    Christian Bale is too pretty — and Travis requires likability i.e. Burt Reynolds, Mel Gibson. I had to look him up, but Holt McCallany does have the right look, although he is too old for anything before The Empty Copper Sea. Channing Tatum would be a good choice if he was a little older. An unknown who combines an amiable disposition with the mature, rugged, muscular masculinity of Holt McCallany or Daniel Craig would be the smart choice. I have my doubts that the studio is going to make a smart choice.

  9. Lynnacworth says:

    Holt McCallany not right either I agree on a total unknown or offer up a blind side choice of Geoff Stults from Finder a really bad show and waste of his and Michael Clarke Duncan’s time but with good direction this could work. The ability to stay above it all had to be included in the actors range and range isn’t in the definition of c bale.

  10. abel gantry says:


    Holt McCallany would be a dandy choice for Travis McGee.

  11. abel gantry says:

    Bale is a superb actor but…the hair is wrong, the height is wrong, the smile is wrong, the skin color is wrong and most of all, the eyes are wrong….not the color of the eyes….the eyes. The only actor who should play McGee is someone we’ve never heard of. Like when Connery first appeared as Bond. This choice is a huge disappointment, but then hasn’t that become Hollywood’s middle name?

  12. Ben Kabak says:

    Complaining about Bale being 3 inches shorter than the novels character is LOL

  13. fairportfan says:

    Hmmm. All it’ll take is elevator shoes, about a gallon of peroxide, gray contacts and CGI muscles. Perfect.

    There was actually an almost-decent version of “Darker than Amber” back in the 60s, with Rod Taylor as McGee (tolerable) and Theo Bikel as Meyer (so perfect that that was who i saw as Meyer from there onward.)

  14. Lynnacworth says:

    First we had tom cruise as jack reacher and now this tongue tied lisping pipsqueak as Travis McGee doesn’t any one in lala land read the books before casting woefully inadequate boys as the larger than life he men we need in these parts. But then again just like the old westerns, if the heroes were tall enough to see over the horses in real life they wouldn’t be playing dress up on screen.

    • Mark says:

      SInce when has Bale had a lisp? He does not look like a milshake drinking meat head and yet he is capable of producing more fright than most actors and i take it you have not seen American Psycho. “woefully inadequate” overcompensating for something – those pills you buy on the internet do not make it grow any bigger you know

  15. Sharon Terry says:


  16. Matt Bracken says:

    I’d sure love to see justice finally done to the great John D. MacDonald’s “Travis Mcgee.”
    His non-McGee novel “Cape Fear” was made into not one but two terrific films, a generation apart.

  17. Ron Head says:

    Great news. I hope it works out this time. It looks as if James Mangold did sign on as director.

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