Since ol’ Trav has come up in another thread, I will throw out this challenge I’ve been muddling over for a while.
There have been only two Travis McGee movies, a rather meh one made from Bright Orange for the Shroud and starring Rod Taylor, and a truly execrable attempt at spawning a TV series loosely based on The Empty Copper Sea and starring Sam Elliott. (The latter changed just about everything except McGee’s name.)
In recent years, Leonardo DiCaprio has expressed interest, as a devoted fan, in portraying McGee in one or more movies. My first reaction can be summed up as OH MY GOD NO YOU’VE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME PLEASE PLEASE TELL ME YOU’RE JOKING… but having studied him in recent films, as he’s aged into a more mature actor… I’m good with it. This is a project where sincere dedication to the source material and heavyweight H’wood clout could produce classics.
So… assume that Leo will do four and only four movies over the next ten to twelve years, aging through the role a little. Assume they will be “well done” on some level. Assume they will be period pieces, not modernized.
**What four stories make up the essential Travis McGee arc? **Feel free to rearrange the order, move stories to another appropriate time, cannibalize one story to strengthen another - pretty much anything except make up utterly new material or greatly change the elements.
I think the one essential story is Pale Gray for Guilt, virtually as-written, as either the leadoff or second story. That means the series has to close with The Lonely Silver Rain, mostly to close the Puss Killian arc… but another, stronger story could be grafted in place of the main storyline.
I think we have to write off the first four books, except maybe for some pillaged elements and backstory. A few would look like ripoffs of other movies - The Green Ripper in particular. The two books already filmed should be approached only with caution, and I don’t think we can get the Gretel Howard story in there.
But run with it, McGee fans… thumbnail the four movie scripts you’d like to see.