20th Century Fox, director James Mangold and producer Leonardo DiCaprio have their eye on Christian Bale to play Travis McGee in "The Deep Blue Good-By," an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.
While Bale has yet to receive an official offer and there is no deal in place, the Oscar-winning actor has expressed interest in portraying McGee, the protagonist of a 21-book series written by John D. MacDonald.
Insiders had told TheWrap as recently as last week that "Deep Blue Good-By" was in a "holding pattern" at Fox, which is gearing up to have Mangold direct a sequel to "The Wolverine" while star Hugh Jackman is still interested in donning the claws. Should Bale sign a deal, the project would gain a significant boost of momentum.
A self-described "salvage consultant" who lives on a houseboat, McGee has a knack for attracting both trouble and women.
Bale previously worked with Mangold on "3:10 to Yuma," and he also just worked with Fox and "Deep Blue" producer Chernin Entertainment on Ridley Scott's "Exodus."
Peter Chernin will produce with DiCaprio and his Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson-Killoran, as well as Amy Robinson. Dennis Lehane wrote the most recent draft of the script.
Bale, who recently passed on the second season of HBO's "True Detective," is represented by WME. A representative for the Welsh actor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bale's potential casting was first reported by Variety.