Christian Bale Travis McGee

John D. MacDonald‘s long-running character Travis McGee — the star of 21 novels — is moving back towards theaters thanks to a new adaptation of MacDonald’s first McGee novel The Deep Blue Good-By.

James Mangold is directing, from a script by Dennis Lehane, tracking the early days of a “salvage consultant” who helps people out so long as he gets to keep half the value of the Haul. Now we may know what McGee will look like, as Christian Bale has reportedly agreed to star in the film. Read More »

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Live By Night release date

The combined demands of promoting David Fincher’s Gone Girl (above) and acting in Zack Synder’s Batman vs. Superman have served to push back Ben Affleck’s next movie as director. For months Affleck has planned to make Live By Night, based on the book by Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River author Dennis Lehane. Affleck will still make the film, but it is now third in line behind the two aforementioned projects. Live By Night will have to cool its heels waiting for an evening in 2016. Info on that, and a few other Warner date changes, is below.   Read More »

First Look: Final James Gandolfini Film ‘The Drop’

final James Gandolfini film

Here are the first images from the final James Gandolfini film, The Drop. Once called Animal Rescue, the tense Brooklyn-set drama also features Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Matthias Schoenaerts, under the direction of Bullhead helmer Michael Roskam. Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone) scripted the crime drama, which features Gandolfini as a former criminal whose cousin, played by Tom Hardy, is trying to go straight and having a pretty bad time doing so.

Four more images are below. Read More »

James Mangold Deep Blue Good-By

Travis McGee is one of the many crime fiction heroes that stars in his own series of books. McGee’s basic approach to life is simple: he works only when he needs money, and then he takes jobs helping people recover stuff that has been taken from them. His fee is simple, too: he keeps half.

McGee is at the center of twenty-one books by John D. MacDonald, starting with the 1964 novel The Deep Blue Good-By and going through The Lonely Silver Rain in 1984. There have been a couple film and TV versions of the character in the past, and several efforts to film McGee’s novels have come and gone without coming to fruition.

Among them, a Deep Blue Good-By movie has been in development for years. Now James Mangold has come on board to push those efforts forward. Mangold will direct The Deep Blue Good-By, with an actor yet to be cast in the lead role. Read More »

A Prophet (Un Prophete)

After making his name on crime dramas set in his native Boston, Dennis Lehane is getting his next bit of inspiration from outside the country. The Shutter Island author has been tapped to write Sony’s English-language remake of A Prophet (a.k.a. Un prophète), Jacques Audiard‘s acclaimed French crime drama. More details on the upcoming film after the jump.

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Argo set photo - Ben Affleck

It’s been six months since we heard that Ben Affleck‘s follow-up to Argo would likely mark the filmmaker’s return to Boston, as he targeted Dennis Lehane‘s novel Live By Night. Now there’s an actual timetable for the film that Affleck will write, direct, and star in. Appian Way will produce with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s company Pearl Street. It’s Affleck’s second turn with Lehane, who also wrote the book that became Affleck’s directorial debut Gone Baby Gone.

Deadline reports that pre-production starts today. While Affleck is the only cast member at this point, things will likely pick up steam in a month or two as the film jogs towards a production start in August or September. The novel follows a police captains son, who becomes deeply involved in organized crime. The trick is that it’s a period piece, with the novel kicking off in the mid-’20s, and traveling eventually from Boston to Florida and Cuba.

Read a long synopsis of the book below. Read More »

With Gone Baby Gone, The Town and now the Oscar-nominated Argo, Ben Affleck the director has set a high bar for his career behind the camera. That means choosing a next project is crucial and several have crossed Affleck’s desk since Argo was released. It seems he’s now put them in order.

The actor was to star alongside Kristen Stewart in the film Focus, but recently pulled out of that film so he could commit all his time to preparing Live By Night as his next directorial project. The film, based a novel by Dennis Lehane, is about a young man during the Prohibition who falls deep into the world of organized crime. Affleck is writing, producing, will direct and star.

See Affleck’s reasoning for leaving Focus and focusing on Live By Night below.
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Author Dennis Lehane may not be a household name along the lines of John Grisham or Stephen King, but Hollywood’s found plenty to love in his novels as well. Adaptations of his books are three for thre when it comes to critical and commercial success — Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone, and Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island were all based on his tales — so there’s reason to get excited when news breaks of another of Lehane’s works making it to the big screen.

The next of these could be Animal Rescue, which has just tapped Limitless helmer Neil Burger to direct. The crime drama adapts short story of Lehane’s that was published in the (Lehane-edited) anthology Boston Noir. More details after the jump.

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