"I'd been looking for that renaissance guy," McConaughey says in the kitchen of his Hollywood Hills home. "Everything I'd read that was a possible franchise character in the action-adventure genre was either too roadhouse, just fighting and running around, or they were too prim and proper, never getting their hands dirty."
Dirk Pitt is "a senator's son, but a scavenger of the deep," McConaughey says. "He can talk marine biology with you at noon and then at one o'clock be dealing gold bullion with smugglers and pirates."
If he wants to return as Dirk Pitt, McConaughey will have to hope that Sahara warms a frosty relationship with Cussler. The author, who also was displeased with Hollywood's 1980 adaptation of his Raise the Titanic, went along with plans to make Sahara but filed suit in January to block production of future Dirk Pitt movies after he was unhappy with script changes to his story.