Saturday, May 15, 2010
Update: Leonardo DiCaprio not Matt Damon
Six of one half dozen of the other...After I posted this I started thinking maybe I got confused...the people talking about making McGee are (are you ready?) Leonardo DiCaprio and Oliver Stone--worse than I thought.
(previously and incorrectly--not Damon, DiCaprio but same problem)
Matt Damon's a good actor and can be a funny guy in interviews. So nothing against him but I can't see him as Travis McGee, as the trades are saying he will be.
I'm probably speaking for those of us who started reading the John D. MacDonald McGees as they began appearing in the early Sixties. I can remember how the first three popped up without warning except in the Fawcett-owned Cavalier magazine (when it was a real magazine and not just another t & a outlet).
Now admittedly McGee wasn't my favorite JDM character by a long shot. Ole Trav, as I once said to the irritation of several readers, was a Rotarian's idea of a cool guy. The way he talked about himself could be irritating--always reminding us of how he was "gnarly" and a "knight errant" and so on--but when he wan't lost in his mirror or pontificating on the then-modern world or bedding women to "cure" them of their depression, the JDM craft came through and they were damned good adventure suspense novels. The novels are filled with melancholy for that time; McGee is pretty much disgusted about what he sees in the Sixties. That disgust is the basis for all his sermonizing.
People of younger generations won't have any trouble imagining Matt Damon as McGee. But for older people McGee was a man who had been shaped by the second world war, the bust and boom of the late forties and early fifties and the old fashioned code of macho--very different from the one today.
And what about Meyer? At least he'll still be relevant given his gloomy (and accurate) financial predictions.
I'm seeing car crashes and `splosions and fast-cutting and and sound tracks that threaten trolling o leave you deaf and the kind of heroics McGee never even attempted. In other words another Matt Damon adventure movie off the assembly line with no reverence for the old Gold Medals that spawned it.