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Baz Luhrmann Tells Deadline: Carey Mulligan Is My Daisy Buchanan

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann has found his Daisy Buchanan. He has officially given the starring role in The Great Gatsby to Carey Mulligan, the Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Never Let Me Go star who’ll play the manipulative heroine when Luhrmann starts production on his adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald literary classic.

Mulligan was on the reception line for The Fashion Council Awards in New York when she got the call on her cell phone from Luhrmann, just a few minutes ago. She burst into tears on the red carpet in front of Karl Lagerfield and Anna Wintour. This all occurred shortly after Luhrmann showed the audition footage to Sony Pictures Entertainment execs Amy Pascal and Doug Belgrad, who were impressed by Mulligan’s command of the character played in the 1974 film by Mia Farrow.

Mulligan was a late entrant to an elite list of actresses that Luhrmann met with while he conducted readings with Leonardo DiCaprio, who’ll play Jay Gatsby. Tobey Maguire is expected to play his friend, Nick Carraway, who narrates the tale. No word yet on who’ll play the other major roles, Daisy’s husband Tom, their social companion Jordan Baker, Tom’s mistress Myrtle Wilson and her gas station owner husband George.

Luhrmann delivered the message to Deadline, and gave me the above photo he took of Mulligan during rehearsals, when she was in Daisy Buchanan mode on … Read More »

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Cameron Crowe Eyes Actresses For ‘Zoo’

Mike Fleming

Baz Luhrmann isn’t the only director meeting with top young actresses for a project. Much the way that Luhrmann has a top group of  thesps he’ll read with to find Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, Crowe has a short list to play the female lead opposite Matt Damon in We Bought A Zoo, the Benjamin Mee memoir about an American who moves to England to operate a zoo.  I’m hearing that the top contender is Scarlett Johansson, but that Amy Adams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Rachel McAdams are also in the mix. Crowe and Aline Brosh McKenna wrote the script.

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Baz Casting Wider Daisy Net For ‘Gatsby’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Director Baz Luhrmann is expanding his search for Daisy Buchanan as he moves closer to committing to The Great Gatsby as his next film. Deadline revealed recently that Luhrmann did a workshop of the screenplay he wrote with Craig Pearce, with Leonardo DiCaprio reading Jay Gatsby, Tobey Maguire reading Nick Carraway, and The Town‘s Rebecca Hall reading Daisy Buchanan. Luhrmann wants those guys to star, but he’s casting a wider net on Daisy. I’m told that Hall is in the running, but that he’s got a bunch of actresses and wants to see how they read with DiCaprio. Luhrmann likes to work shop his scripts, and this should play out over the next two weeks, in New York. This might be hard for some of the actresses, who are shooting movies abroad. Among the names I’ve heard on Baz’s list: Keira Knightley, Amanda Seyfried, Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish, Michelle Williams and Scarlett Johansson. Aside from those names, I’ve heard that Luhrmann is also sweet on Natalie Portman, the … Read More »

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Baz Luhrmann Workshops ‘The Great Gatsby’ In New York

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While Baz Luhrmann hasn’t settled on whether he’ll make The Great Gatsby his next film, he workshopped the adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel that he wrote with frequent collaborator Craig Pearce. I’m told that Leonardo DiCaprio read the role of Gatsby, Tobey Maguire read Nick Carraway, and that The Town star Rebecca Hall read the role of Daisy.

The picture is set up at Sony Pictures Entertainment and the reading went well, I’m told. Luhrmann workshops every script he’s considering and there’s no guarantee those actors will wind up starring in the film. Reports have mentioned Amanda Seyfried as a possible Daisy and I’ve heard Baz is sweet on Natalie Portman. Luhrmann and Catherine Martin are producing with Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher.

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