Helped by a full-frills Cannes film festival gala event, The Great Gatsby opened in 27 markets on Thursday including United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Russia and Korea. Together with the 2nd day figures for the French-speaking markets, the tally was $5.4M, putting it on track to become the biggest opening for a Baz Luhrmann film. Spain and several other markets are set to open today. Going into Friday, The Great Gatsby has grossed $66.7M domestic since opening a week ago as Luhrmann’s biggest here.
Baz Luhrmann‘s ambitious 3D Great Gatsby pic isn’t just raking in the dough in theaters. Its Jazz Age-meets-Jay-Z mash-up soundtrack has been climbing the charts fast after Tuesday’s release. According to SoundScan, early projections pegged first week sales at 90,000-95,000 copies but now the album’s headed toward 100K by Sunday and could notch a #2 debut on the Billboard Top 200 when official results come in next week. Luhrmann, exec producer Jay-Z, and executive music producer Anton Monsted gambled on slotting anachronistic new tracks and covers by contemporary hip-hop and pop artists into the 1920s-set F. Scott Fitzgerald tale.
Baz Luhrmann’s 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby will kick off the 66th Cannes Film Festival on May 15, organizers said today. The Warner Bros drama will screen in the out-of-competition selection. The latest adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke. It opens in the U.S. on May 10 but day-and-date with its May 15 Cannes launch in France.
This was basically a no-brainer decision. Luhrmann is a favorite of the festival, and his 2001 musical drama Moulin Rouge still remains one of the splashiest opening nights in Cannes history with an elaborate, very expensive party thrown by distributor 20th Century Fox afterward. Those who were there (I was among them) will not soon forget the extragance of it all, and certainly if any other movie might deserve the same opulent treatment it is Luhrmann’s Gatsby, which was delayed from an awards-season opening in 2012 by Warner Bros so the director could continue to refine the ambitious film. Whether the studio will spring for a kickoff like a party Jay Gatsby himself might throw remains an open question, especially since it won’t be the world premiere of the film, but nevertheless it is worth the speculation.
Exhibitors actually got their first look at the 3D drama almost a full year ago when Warners previewed footage at CinemaCon in Las Vegas as part of their 2012 slate sneak look. After it was delayed by the studio into a 2013 debut, a Cannes opening seemed inevitable, particularly with the prospect of getting big star names like DiCaprio, Maguire and Mulligan to come to the Croisette for a glamorous European premiere.
Warner Bros has put up a new trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s take on the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic The Great Gatsby. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the title character, Carey Mulligan is Daisy and the rest of the cast includes Tobey Maguire, Isla Fisher, Joel Edgerton and Jason Clarke. Luhrmann and Craig …
EXCLUSIVE: In his first foray into television, Baz Luhrmann, writer-director-producer of such movies as Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!, has signed a rich two-year deal with Sony Pictures TV. Under the pact, he will develop broadcast and cable projects through his company Bazmark Films. The company has offices in New York, Luhrmann’s native Australia and Los Angeles, with New York expected to be the main hub for TV operations. Luhrmann will work with Buzmark co-founder Catherine Martin, his creative and producing partner, long-time production/costume designer and wife; as well as Anton Monsted, general manager of Bazmark and a producer on Luhrmann’s projects. Luhrmann sees his role as “the creative director, encouraging others” to think outside the box and bring in fresh ideas. He also has a few TV ideas of his own, which he is ready to tackle right away.
Warner Bros. has set The Great Gatsby to open Christmas Day 2012. Director Baz Luhrmann began filming his adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel last month in Australia. The 3D production stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke and Elizabeth Debicki.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has acquired the Don Winslow bestselling novel Satori and will develop it as a star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio to play a Westerner, raised in Japan and taught an assassin’s skills, who gets caught up in the chaos of post-WWII as the U.S., Soviet Union, France and China maneuver for power in Southeast Asia in the early 1950s. Shane Salerno will write the script with Winslow, and John Lesher’s Grisdi Productions and DiCaprio’s Appian Way partner Jennifer Killoran are producing. Salerno is executive producer.
DiCaprio will play Nicholai Hel, raised in Japan by a martial arts expert and genius at Go, the complex chess-like Japanese game. The master, a Japanese general, passes on all his secrets and the student repays him by murdering his mentor as an act of devotion; the military leader would have been disgraced and killed as a war criminal.
For that act, Hel is thrown in solitary confinement in a Tokyo prison and tortured for three years. He is finally sprung by the CIA after agreeing to assassinate the Soviet commissioner to China. Hel is trained for the task by a beautiful French woman he falls in love with. Though he now sees a happy ending to the dangerous assignment, Hel is betrayed by his backers and, using his Go skills for strategy, makes his way through Vietnam hunted by American, Chinese, Russian and French intelligence agencies as well as a Corsican mob and Vietnamese criminal syndicate. It’s a sophisticated thriller, and the studio sees potential for its own Jason Bourne-type action franchise.
Canal Plus Eyes Vincent Bollore’s Channels In Free TV Push
Vivendi’s Canal Plus said today it is working to take a majority stake in channels owned by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, as part of a push into free TV. Its proposed deal would give Canal Plus 60% of Direct 8 and music-focused Direct Star in exchange for Vivendi shares. Canal Plus has an option to buy the remainder within the next three years, its head Bertrand Meheut told French daily Les Echos. The deal, subject to approval by the government and employee reps, values the Bollore assets at about $650M. Canal Plus wants to defend itself against new players in France such as Netflix, Google and Apple.
WB’s ‘Great Gatsby’ Adds Indian Icon Amitabh Bachchan
Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan is making his Hollywood debut in Warner Bros’ new adaptation of The Great Gatsby. He’ll play Meyer Wolfsheim, a Jewish man described as a gambler in F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel. The $126M film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Baz Luhrmann, has begun shooting in Australia. Bachchan, 68, has acted in more than 180 Indian films over a 40-year period. He remains Indian’s most popular actor and recently returned as the celebrity host of the Indian version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.
EXCLUSIVE: Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures has hired Focus Features executive Matthew Plouffe to be its new SVP Production. Plouffe, who has spent the past six years in the New York headquarters of Focus, will move to Los Angeles and start the job Oct. 1. Plouffe is currently Focus’ Director of Production and has worked on such Focus films as the Sam Mendes-directed Away We Go, Shane Acker’s 9, the Ryan Fleck/Anna Boden-directed It’s Kind of A Funny Story and most recently on the Lone Scherfig-directed adaptation of One Day that stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. Plouffe wanted to move West, and the transition was done with the blessing of Focus Features chief James Schamus, who wrote and produced Maguire’s breakout film as an actor, The Ice Storm. “All of us at Focus have been blessed over the past six years to see Matt grow to become one of the smartest, hardest-working and kindest execs out there, and while we’re sad to see him go, he couldn’t have found a better opportunity than the one Tobey has offered. It’s great to see two of the smartest people in the business teaming up,” Schamus said.
EXCLUSIVE: Joel Edgerton has been set by director Baz Luhrmann to play Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. He will join Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, Isla Fisher as Myrtle (Tom’s mistress), and Australian newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker. Edgerton, the Australian actor who was on the short list to star in The Bourne Legacy spinoff at Universal and other plum roles, takes a part that was going to Ben Affleck until his schedule didn’t work when he committed to direct and star in Argo for Warner Bros. Luhrmann’s update of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic will be made for Warner Bros, which will release it in 3D. Edgerton next stars with Tom Hardy in Warrior, the Gavin O’Connor-directed drama about brothers who square off in the mixed martial arts arena. Edgerton has an imposing physicality that makes him an intriguing choice for the role of Tom, played by Bruce Dern in the 1974 film.
Luhrmann, who took the above photo of Edgerton as Buchanan, confirmed he’d found his man: “In casting Tom one had to find an actor who could credibly be (as Fitzgerald describes him) ‘one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven,’ had five-star acting chops and in the big dramatic showdown scenes between Gatsby and Tom, hold the screen against Leonardo DiCaprio, in the appropriate age group.