Baz Luhrmann Goes GATSBY!!
Even though Baz Luhrmann's AUSTRALIA didn't exactly set the world on fire (did it even smolder just a little?), seems the director is already moving onto his next project. He's optioned F. Scott Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY.
The director, as Risky Biz first reported last month, also said that he has officially acquired rights to "Gatsby." Luhrmann sees the pre-Depression story as a wake-up call as the economy comes crashing down and another gilded age, as he sees it, comes to an end.
"If you wanted to show a mirror to people that says, 'You've been drunk on money,' they're not going to want to see it. But if you reflected that mirror on another time they'd be willing to."
He added, "People will need an explanation of where we are and where we've been, and 'The Great Gatsby' can provide that explanation."
...says THIS PIECE in Hollywood Reporter.
Luhrmann also indicates that he's going to get this project up and running faster than he usually does in order to best exploit the film's "timeliness".
There's a character in THE GREAT GATSBY named Sigourney Howard, which is where Sigourney Weaver got her name - and she fought ALIENS, which makes this news at least a teeny weeny bit (barely, maybe desperately) Geeky.
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Dec. 19, 2008, 2:07 p.m. CST
by Bruce Thomas Wayne
Australia wasnt all that good
Dec. 19, 2008, 2:07 p.m. CST
Is what I am going to take after reading this...who Cares?!
Dec. 19, 2008, 2:10 p.m. CST
Scorsese was doing this with Vinnie Chase?
Dec. 19, 2008, 2:11 p.m. CST
The Baz-turdization of THE great American novel. Cue stupid puns about The Bazz Age.
Dec. 19, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST
...I'm a constant reader, but can't get into Fitzgerald's obsession with the rich, the "very rich", and those who desperately want to be rich. Good writing I suppose, but who gives a flying fuck.
Dec. 19, 2008, 2:37 p.m. CST
Dec. 19, 2008, 2:40 p.m. CST
by Thunderbolt Ross
Dec. 19, 2008, 2:40 p.m. CST
In some godawful "modernisation" with Vincent Chase.<p>Or was that the bullshit ending to season five of Entourage?
Dec. 19, 2008, 2:41 p.m. CST
by Vote Fa Stokes Brutha
for teaching us what we need to know. Let's sit down and listen to uncle Baz tell us what happiness is. Exactly who ISN'T learning from our economic struggle?
Dec. 19, 2008, 2:43 p.m. CST
by Adrian Marcato
Gatsby is one of the greatest stories in the history of American literature, and it is quite a simple tale. But still not a single film maker has been able to create a proper recreation of the films emotional center and resonance. Redford's outing is particularly disappointing due to the talent involved. I hope Baz uses a little restraint here, because he doesn't really seem that right for the project given his repertoire. Fingers crossed.
Dec. 19, 2008, 2:49 p.m. CST
I mean, yeah, it had flaws as a film, but Redford as Gatsby was spot on.<p> Old sport.
Dec. 19, 2008, 2:51 p.m. CST
as far as i know, the book remains in every school, every library and every book store...but he needs to make a movie to "explain" to us our current situation?? and this is a remake....i really didnt like the first movie, as it missed alot of the symbolism from the book...and i never liked the casting of karen black as myrtle
Dec. 19, 2008, 2:53 p.m. CST
It's been made into a perfectly serviceable movie already. We don't need you ass raping it again. You had two and a half good movies in you. Now go back to staging shitty dance theatre on the tax payers dollar and directing crappy commercials and awards shows. Australia proved you have zero ability to make anything other than high camp.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:03 p.m. CST
And I've been waiting for someone to get it right. Fingers crosses, over here.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:04 p.m. CST
You mutherfuckers defending that dogshit Australia have your taste firmly wedged in yer ass.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:05 p.m. CST
Does this mean we now get a real Vincent Chase Aquaman Movie as well
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:05 p.m. CST
...Baz Lurhman of all directors to teach us about material excess. Australia was just a warm up. This is his true disasterpiece.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:15 p.m. CST
by Lenny Nero
But leave Kidman out of it this time.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:19 p.m. CST
Baz needs to give up already.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:22 p.m. CST
Redford and Coppola are tough to beat. Nelson Riddle ain't no schlump, either. Maybe the third time is the charm? We'll always have the book.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:25 p.m. CST
by Fineus Fog
The Great Gatsby is noe of my fav books of all time, please Basil (or whatever the fuck you call yourself) do not do this. I have always if they did TRY to make another film Peter Saarsgard would mae a bloody good Gatsby But in saying that, not woth this awful shitty director - some like Stephen Daldry would be able to pull it off.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:25 p.m. CST
The Jack Clayton version in the 70s had fantastic art direction, but seemed to miss the point by a mile -- a story that said Big Things about a particular brand of (American) dreaming was reduced to a Harlequinn Romance novel. Robert Redford and Bruce Dern were totally miscast; in fact, they should have switched roles, with Redford as the handsome Tom, and Dern as the slighter Gatsby. (Gatsby is never really physically described in the novel; a more generic or even plain look would fit with the character.) <br><br> Now too, it looks like Lurhman is going to try to project the story through his own shallow prism. Does anyone else see GATSBY's main theme as a commentary on economic excess? I don't mind his directorial style; and in fact, I think it might make another beautiful art directed movie. <br><br> But really, he should check out the Cliff Notes first before he does any more interp.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:27 p.m. CST
by dr sauch
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:29 p.m. CST
Correct me if I'm wrong, but since F. Scott didn't have any kids who could've extended his rights, isn't the TGG book and all his other written works in the public domain, not unless descendants of any of his relatives handle his estate. Anyway this will flop (as most period dramas do), not unless it's updated to present day.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:35 p.m. CST
... that's essentially who his character on Mad Men is; that's how Gatsby would have behaved in another era, had he actually gotten Daisy; he woulda realized she's a ditzy spoiled girl and gone on the prowl....
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:36 p.m. CST
ooooooooooooo! One of my favorite authors matched with one of my least favorite directors. It's almost as if I'm in hell. Literary novels rarely work as film adaptations. Novels depend on understanding the nuanced psychology of a character in ways that it is difficult to capture on film. In fact, trashy novels usually make better adaptations just because they're more concerned with plot. <p> I can't imagine how ridiculous Gatsby's part will be when Bas Lurhman gets a hold of the film. this man has never heard the word restraint. Maybe Terrence Mallick could make a good flick out of the book. He understands restraint and judging from The New World has a complex understanding of the American mythos.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:39 p.m. CST
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:42 p.m. CST
is getting a comeback. This book is too perfect and Baz will fuck this up 100%! And don't fucking give Nicole Kidman a role in this!!!!!!
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:44 p.m. CST
This is ANOTHER movie that does not need to be remade!! Enough with the remakes already. I loved the book and the Redford movie was pretty good, it does not need to be rehashed. Hollywood please come up with an original idea on your own please and stop going to older movies that were good but are being remade into crap.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:48 p.m. CST
by Samuel Fulmer
soon after the disaster that is Australia. If Cimino had to wait 5 years after Heaven's Gate Lurhman should have to wait at least 10.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:50 p.m. CST
by Samuel Fulmer
playing American characters.
Dec. 19, 2008, 3:50 p.m. CST
by Banzai Rootskibango
Actually...not so much...who gives a shit about this crap? I'm gonna go watch that WOLVERINE trailer again!
Dec. 19, 2008, 4:02 p.m. CST
40 million on a 130 million budget. I guess it will break even internationally if everyone Down Under is mandated to see it several times each.
Dec. 19, 2008, 4:11 p.m. CST
by Orbots Commander
From THE GREAT GATSBY, that is. GATSBY is great American literature; you wouldn't know what to do with it. Your comment about your 'take' on GATSBY to parallel today's economic crisis just proves that you have it all wrong and you don't understand the book. How would you feel if America sent Michael Bay or Brett Ratner down under to ass rape one of your country's treasured novels?
Dec. 19, 2008, 4:11 p.m. CST
anyone excited for this will be sadly mistaken. Baz luhrman is worthless if he can't make someone sing and dance.. Oh and cast vinnie chase in this.
Dec. 19, 2008, 4:13 p.m. CST
ha, he actually was quite good in the role on some cbs version or something a few years back....
Dec. 19, 2008, 4:14 p.m. CST
would be just as bad as this will be. okay i'm done.
Dec. 19, 2008, 4:35 p.m. CST
That's all I got.
Dec. 19, 2008, 4:59 p.m. CST
by James Westfall
... hijacking a perfectly great novel to make your own bullshit political point. Baz is a fucktard.
Dec. 19, 2008, 5:31 p.m. CST
Here's the thing. I made the mistake of seeing Australia. It tries too hard to be Titanic. And it has Nicole Kidman, who just plain sucks. She's one of a long line of people who shouldn't be allowed to act. Australia is visually beautiful. But that's about it. I cannot say he shouldn't direct. He should, but as a director of photography. If he want's to handle the visual aspects of Gatsby, I'm actually cool with that. But I'd rather see someone like Chris Nolan, or Kenneth Branaugh handle the story and actors. Oh, and like Demi Moore, can we as a planet just agree to no more Nicole Kidman? Please?
Dec. 19, 2008, 5:44 p.m. CST
by Flim Springfield
Dec. 19, 2008, 6:31 p.m. CST
by Runs with a Gut
Where are Harry's and Drew's "Australia" reviews?
Dec. 19, 2008, 6:34 p.m. CST
Gatsby is a very male novel. It seeks to educate a young man about goals, priorities, idealism and consequences. I have never had a desire to see one of Lurman's films, they look like arty chick flicks. Get a director that knows how to translate the nuances of a great piece of literature, Milos Forman comes to mind. Or perhaps give Fincher a crack at it.
Dec. 19, 2008, 6:37 p.m. CST
by The Amazing G
Dec. 19, 2008, 7:13 p.m. CST
This guy is a hack. Stop giving him work.
Dec. 19, 2008, 7:39 p.m. CST
seriously, that is absolutely ridiculous. his next project should be a weird movie collaboration with Werner Herzog about how he lost a 100 million dollars, made Australians angry as hell, and is now going to retire...
Dec. 19, 2008, 7:49 p.m. CST
Updated to modern times, starring Vincent Chase. I was looking forward to that one.
Dec. 19, 2008, 8:02 p.m. CST
How old were you when you read the book? <BR> I first read that book when I was 16 in highschool and I think it was really stupid for our teacher to have us read it. We had no context... no understanding of adult life, even less about what it meant to be in the world of gatsby, the roaring 20's etc.<BR> Now I'm in my 30's and I jut reread it. The difference is amazing to me. I still remembered the basic characters, plot etc, but it all makes so much more sense now, especially the characters reactions,behaviors, etc <BR>I still think its stupid to read that book in highschool. How can kids who are just dipping their toes into adult relationships ceven begin to understand the motivations Tom, Daisy, Gatsby, etc.<BR> Anyway you ought to give it another shot.
Dec. 19, 2008, 8:39 p.m. CST
Is awful. If for no other reason, his films look as if they were edited with a desk fan.
Dec. 19, 2008, 8:56 p.m. CST
cant the same be said about all things? everyone looks at the world differently at 16 then they do at 30...its important to read books like gatsby during hs, as it gives you an understanding of great literature, and why it is great...the way fitzgerald uses symbolism throughout the book, is truly brilliant...should they also stop reading "death of a salesman" for the same reason? what about the crucible...or anything by poe or dickens....shoot...i reread everything i was assigned to read in highschool, and was constantly amazed at what i missed
Dec. 19, 2008, 9:04 p.m. CST
now there is a much more topical movie...and you need to get a brother and sister acting team to take the place of the fondas...oh wait...there is no place in the movie for updated cgi...forget it...i wont be done...and i still think its amazing that not one studio, after all these years has ever attempted to do catcher in the rye...talk about a book that is impossible to film...they even made a seperate peace...of course, it sucked ass
Dec. 19, 2008, 9:46 p.m. CST
...I think some things require a certain maturity to understand, and to get into those things without the necessary depth of ones own character may possibly spoil something that would have great value to you in your future. Conversely, had I read The Dark Tower for the first time as the 28 year old man I am today, I wonder if I would hold it with the high regard I have for it. That book really spoke to the 13 year old me, far more than the Catcher in the Rye ever did... That said, you're right about the benefits of being exposed to great literature. I've tried to introduce my little sister to good books, and I've never been prouder of her than when she said "Twilight? That's absolute trash.".
Dec. 19, 2008, 10:18 p.m. CST
It was called G and came out in 2002. And yes, this too is my favorite all-time book. It's a cliche, sue me.
Dec. 19, 2008, 10:36 p.m. CST
It's not like the symbolism is hidden or subtle. Melville, Faulkner, Dos Passos...those are writers that often fly over a high school kid's head. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Salinger and Steinbeck generally do not, imo.
Dec. 19, 2008, 10:55 p.m. CST
...And nakedly antisemitic to boot.<p> The story in GATSBY is of a high society poseur whose money is of questionable origin, trying and failing to win over his love with same.<p> Fitzgerald wrote this, what, a mere thirty years after the era of the robber barons? America was NEVER about "where" the money came from...never will be (at least we only swindle...Euro money is invariably drenched in the blood of innocents).<p> I wish Mr. Luhrmann the best of luck...but CITIZEN KANE, THE GODFATHER movies, GOODFELLAS and THERE WILL BE BLOOD do a better job with the notion of appearances vs reality than Fitzgerald's overrated book.
Dec. 19, 2008, 11:06 p.m. CST
... all modern and shit.
Dec. 19, 2008, 11:07 p.m. CST
I like Baz'a films but I have a problem being taught the consequences of conspicuous consumption by such an over the top, avante garde director. Perhaps if he includes a coda on how much money he lost Fox on Austrailia, I'll take him a bit more seriously.
Dec. 19, 2008, 11:21 p.m. CST
by Ang Lee Hulk
you both fail to grasp the central theme of novel.
Dec. 20, 2008, 12:21 a.m. CST
Would also make a better movie.
Dec. 20, 2008, 12:30 a.m. CST
I only wish that I had known when I was that young (I believe it ran when HBO was test marketing in Oregon) what an amazing novel it was. But that film I would say almost scarred me. I found it disturbing and deeply sad. But the performances in it were amazing, especially Scott Wilson, who is a very underrated actor.<br> <br> I have great faith in Baz though.
Dec. 20, 2008, 12:32 a.m. CST
But to say that it's bad.. awful.. horrible. Just way off mark.
Dec. 20, 2008, 1:07 a.m. CST
Completely serious. Gatsby deserves all the acclaim it gets, and while it may kind of be shoved down peoples' throats in school, there's a reason for it. What it does with symbolism is great. It's kind of interesting how popular Gatsby seems to be lately, with Californication and Entourage both dealing with it, and now this.
Dec. 20, 2008, 1:16 a.m. CST
Only in Hollywood...oh wait the big 3 as well
Dec. 20, 2008, 2:34 a.m. CST
Or GatsbysEastEggOmelette. Whatever. This is HIS talkback. This is like the Celestial Trumpets of AICN beckoning him back to the motherland. We are calling you home!
Dec. 20, 2008, 2:59 a.m. CST
by Rocco Curioso
You guys are both spot-on. Paul Rudd would be PERFECT for Nick Carroway. Keira Knightley may be a bit too young to play Daisy Buchanan, but she has the chops to do the role justice.<P>Which leaves us with 3 major casting gaps:<P>Tom Buchanan. I think Nick Stahl could pull this one off, easy.<P>Jordan Baker. She's a secondary yet pivotal character. Maybe Anna Paquin. Aside from Rudd (who looks all of 30, even at his present 39), they may have to aim younger re. casting.<P>Which brings us to Jay Gatsby himself. As written, Gatsby has this enigmatic, all-encompassing charisma that is truly difficult to embody. Redford was the obvious choice back in the day, even if he fell somewhat short. And while it's (is it still?) fashionable to dismiss Leo DiCaprio as a prettyboy... he has proven his mettle as a serious actor more than once. He could pull it off.<P>Casting aside, that doesn't mean Luhrmann won't screw up the movie proper. Still, if he tones down those florid sensibilities of his... it JUST might work.
Dec. 20, 2008, 3:40 a.m. CST
I really try not to be an internet hater, but this might be the most depressing thing I've ever heard. One of the best books ever written, for so many reasons, is going to turn into another montage of Nicole Kidman acting badly and Hugh Jackman turning into his own closeups? The Gods really do hate us.
Dec. 20, 2008, 8:54 a.m. CST
by Cotton McKnight
I use the advice he gave in "Everybody's free to wear sunscreen" every day. I enjoy my body all the time.
Dec. 20, 2008, 8:58 a.m. CST
good call on the californication parallell.
Dec. 20, 2008, 9:09 a.m. CST
And I do not have any problems with Luhrmann as a director (I enjoyed AUSTRALIA). So, I'm happy with this news.<p> Merrick, not to sound overly nice all of the sudden, but the Sigourney Weaver joke was actually funny!
Dec. 20, 2008, 9:50 a.m. CST
I think Brad Pitt would make a great Tom Buchanan. It would give him the ability to play a real asshole, which is something he hasn't done in quite some time. <p> I think Jennifer Connolly would be a great Daisy. She's an underrated actress who doesn't get the kind of complex roles she deserves. <p> Jordan Baker should be played by Uma Thurman. Baker's a tennis player so she should be played by someone who is believable as an athlete. <p> Nick Carroway is a tough one. Many critics have noted that he's an unreliable narrator, so we need someone who can be duplicitous. I'm going with Cilian Murphy because he can play innocent while still being kind of a jerk. <p> Gatsby himself is the most crucial character. I think someone else already said Peter Saarsgard, and I'm going to second that choice.
Dec. 20, 2008, 12:03 p.m. CST
by Mel Garga
to produce series for Comedy Central based on Joyce's The Dubliners.
Dec. 20, 2008, 1:07 p.m. CST
You know this to be true... Especially since he's a dead ringer for a Young Robert Redford.
Dec. 20, 2008, 1:35 p.m. CST
by Ang Lee Hulk
This book particularly has characters with little description, creating a ghostly, intangible quality that helps form the narrative, and leaves the reader to form their own Gatsby and Carroway. A movie utterly destroys this. After this movie, people will be imagining Brad Pitt (or whomever Baz decides to cast as Gatsby) for the next decade or so. I've refused to watch the 70's version for exactly this reason. God I hate adaptations (Kubrick not included).
Dec. 20, 2008, 2:31 p.m. CST
Dec. 21, 2008, 2:52 a.m. CST
For your viewing pleasure.
Dec. 21, 2008, 11:30 a.m. CST
...first off, my admittedly now dim recollection of the book is that it had little, if anything, to do with the depression, politics or the economy. It was about the choices that people make and their attempts to find happiness in the past. Second, Luhrmann is quite possibly the most extragantly over the top director currently working today, in terms of making his films look big, expensive and glamorous. Is that really the guy to make a film about people wasting money and then suffering through an economic downturn?
Dec. 22, 2008, 1:38 a.m. CST
He IS Gatsby for the 1960s. Luhrmann is going to screw this up because it's not about economic excess (although that's certainly a running motif in the book) - it's actually about how it's impossible to recreate/improve on the past, and yet people try to do this over and over. It's a wonderful story, wonderfully written, and so far no one has been able to do it justice on film. The only perfectly cast person in any adaptation was Sam Waterston's Nick Carraway in the 1970s Redford/Farrow version - he was great in the role, not in the least because he's always had that whole patrician thing going. I hope to God Lurhmann doesn't cast Nicole Kidman as Daisy - she's about 17 years too old for the role.
Dec. 22, 2008, 1:42 a.m. CST
Knightley, Scarlett Johanssen or Natalie Portman (who still looks quite young) would do nicely in the role. And it's Nick CARRAWAY, not Carroway. Rudd is now officially too old for the role - Carraway is 29-30 in the book - and anyway he's already done it in the fairly awful Toby Stephens/Mira Sorvino TV version a few years back.
Dec. 22, 2008, 4:22 a.m. CST
Every version has been too caught up in what The Great Gatsby has the reputation of being rather than what it actually is. Done properly, by someone who understands the story enough to breathe enough life into it to ensure it's not just another costume drama, it could make for a pretty stunning film.
Dec. 22, 2008, 1:21 p.m. CST
Go see it...give it a chance!
Dec. 22, 2008, 3:19 p.m. CST
by Wee Willie
If you don't understand Fitzgerald, you don't understand America.
Dec. 22, 2008, 3:23 p.m. CST
by Wee Willie
The Great Gatsby, one of the great American novels, if not THE great American novel is over-rated? Man, I'd love to know what your top five novles are. I bet they all start with "Harry Potter and The..."
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