The bad news is that director Baz Luhrmann’s take on the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, The Great Gatsby, won’t be releasing this year. The good news is, audiences don’t have to wait forever. You can hold your breath until May 10, 2013, right? Come on. It could be worse.
There is a good and bad side to this announcement, too. The good news here is Gatsby won’t have to compete with other December 2012 released films. A certain Hobbit comes to mind. When it comes to the one ring, the roaring 20s might not stand a fighting chance.
The bad side has a bit to do with Warner Brother’s box office track record. It seems quite a few failures released from the studio also in May. Among those are Speed Racer, House of Wax and, most recently, Dark Shadows. The past is prologue, but then again, no one can tell with these things. Marketing and star power can contribute to overall success. There are exceptions to every rule. Luhrmann’s own over the top rhapsody, Moulin Rouge! first premiered in May of 2001.
I think Gatsby is going to make a good chunk of change no matter when it debuts. I’ve been a great fan of the 1974 adaptation starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow and re-watch it from time to time. That script has many lines in it pulled directly from the novel. Speaking of Mia Farrow, Luhrmann has given her iconic role of Daisy to Carey Mulligan. I think Mulligan looks the part. I can’t wait to see how she does. Mia Farrow has this incredible, breathless voice; however, and I’ll forever related it to Daisy–Daisy and the unicorn from the animated classic The Last Unicorn. Now that was the best voice acting casting ever!
Two other reasons Gatsby‘s May release shouldn’t pose a problem are its actors and its director. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire are movie stars. They have loyal fans. They’ve also been best chums since forever, so it’ll be nice to watch them together. Baz Luhrmann also has a cult following. No other director would think to shoot a live action, historically set romance in 3D. In fact, he may be a little nuts. It’s a good kind of nuts, though.
Let’s check out some highlights from the official press release from Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures concerning the updated release date. May 10 is the date Americans and Canadians need to mark on their calendars, but international audiences don’t need to sweat. They get the film one week after.
Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures, said,
Audiences have been looking forward to Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of one of the most beloved books of all time, and we felt this beautifully extravagant and dramatic film would be a perfect way for us to kick off our Summer slate.
Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution, added,
Baz’s unique take on Gatsby is glitzy and glamorous, with his juxtaposition of the classic tale and contemporary themes hitting just the right note. This film should really add heat to the competitive Summer season.
Luhrmann writes, directs, and produces for the project.
Of course DiCaprio is Gatsby and Maguire is Nick Carraway, the point of view character who is a bit of a fish out of water as he joins rich New Yorkers in the spring of 1922, smack-dab in the time of jazz and excess. Gatsby is the richest and most mysterious and he takes an interest in Nick because Carraway is Daisy’s cousin. Daisy is the one who got away from Gatsby before he was the man he is today.
Joel Edgerton is Tom Buchanan, the man Daisy did marry. He’s got a bit of a mean streak. Isla Fisher will play Myrtle, Tom’s mistress, and Jason Clarke is George Wilson, Myrtle’s seemingly dim-witted mechanic husband. Elizabeth Debicki was cast as Jordan Baker, the love interest for Nick Carraway.
If you know Luhrmann’s films, you know he’s the king of spectacle. He re-teams with two-time Academy Award-winning production and costume designer Catherine Martin from Moulin Rouge! on the set of Gatsby. The music will come from Craig Armstrong.