Christian Bale already has a lot on his plate, but it looks like he’s set to add another high-profile role to his spate of credits. Variety reports that Bale is in early discussions to star as Travis McGee in 20th Century Fox’s adaption of The Deep Blue Goodbye. If he does sign on for the film, it would reunite Bale with director James Mangold, who directed the actor in the 2007 action-Western 3:10 to Yuma.
The role of Travis McGee originates from a series of 21 novels by James D. MacDonald, the first of which is The Deep Blue Goodbye. The book series follows the tough-minded “salvage consultant” McGee and his adventures throughout Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Rubbing elbows with seedy clients and the dark underbelly of Fort Lauderdale, McGee is tasked with reclaiming items, and sometimes people, all the while getting into skirmishes with bad guys and pursuing women.
The character and series have previously been adapted to the screen twice, with the most recent adaptation coming a little over 30 years ago. The first adaptation of the series came in 1970′s Darker Than Amber, based on the novel of the same name, and featured Rod Taylor playing the character. The second adaptation, simply titled Travis McGee, was a 1983 television movie adaptation of the novel The Empty Copper Sea and starred Sam Elliott as the titular investigator. But neither carried the kind of clout that 20th Century Fox appears ready to trot out for the newest adaptation.
For Bale, the role joins a flurry of high-profile parts since completing his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the Dark Knight trilogy. Following critically acclaimed turns in both Out of the Furnace and American Hustle, his role in The Deep Blue Goodbye joins at least four other notable projects, the most notable of which is Exodus: Gods and Kings, which stars Bale as Moses and is directed by Ridley Scott. He is also set to star in Terrence Malick’s next film Knight of Cups and also has a role in Malick’s next, as-of-now untitled, film, which is currently in post-production. Finally, Bale is attached to Todd Field’s The Creed of Violence, which is currently in pre-production and tells the story of an assassin and a government agent who attempt to stop an arms smuggling ring in 1910.
As for Mangold, The Deep Blue Goodbye is the first project the director has officially been attached to since helming last summer’s well-received The Wolverine for 20th Century Fox. The film has been pointed to as the first X-Men film to put 20th Century Fox’s superhero series back on track, earning $414 million worldwide while receiving positive reviews from critics. And Mangold’s previous films, which include Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma, and Copland, have proved popular with both critics and viewers on the whole.
While nothing is official just yet, Variety reports that Bale has already agreed to star, and an offer should be on the table soon. From there, you can expect the film to debut in either 2015 or 2016.