OSCARS: Catherine Martin’s 1920s ‘The Great Gatsby’ Is Hotsy-Totsy

By | Saturday February 15, 2014 @ 9:28pm PST

Catherine Martin, who has won two Academy Awards for Costume Design and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration on the French-themed musical Moulin Rouge in 2001, has two noms for one movie again this year: The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann. The Warner Bros remake based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel garnered Martin nominations for Costumes and Production Design. As with Moulin Rouge, Martin’s sets in The Great Gatsby were wondrously extravagant. The set decorator nominated with Martin is Beverley Dunn. Simply put, the production design was (in combination with the special effects team) colorful, intricate 1920s eye candy. Martin recently won an Art Directors Guild Award for her work on the film.

Related: OSCARS: Acting Races Head Into The Homestretch — So Who’s Got The Best Shot For The Gold?

party1To design Jay Gatsby’s world, Martin says, she followed her husband Luhrmann’s lead. “He wanted to create Fitzgerald’s New York as creative and exciting as it was for Fitzgerald. He wanted it immediate and how it would feel for him.” The Times Square of 1920, for instance, of the Luhrmann/Martin vision became an exciting, colorful, crowded, roaring party as were the actual parties of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). In one of the pool scenes, an inflatable zebra is seen in the pool, which had people questioning the historical accuracy. In the book, Fitzgerald writes specifically about an air mattress he describes as a “pneumatic mattress,” but as Martin explains, “I researched inflatable pool toys to see what shapes existed and how they were made. When we put the first trailer out, you see girls cavorting with inflatable zebras and that came directly from research. Inflatables had been around since the late 19th century. The Macy’s parade started in the 1920s. What I enjoy about production design is that you are able like a detective you are able to discover and challenge your perceptions.”

Related: OSCARS: Who Were The Unsung Heroes Of 2014′s Academy Award Pics?
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Great Gatsby! Oscar Saboteur Targets Lana Del Rey Song ‘Young And Beautiful’: Video

By | Tuesday December 17, 2013 @ 12:37pm PST
Mike Fleming

gatsbyEXCLUSIVE: Oscar trickery has routinely been an unfortunate part of the Academy Awards. Usually it’s reserved for the Best Picture candidates, but this year someone got an early start in the Best Original Song category. I’m told by a reliable source that an anonymous envelope was mailed to members of the Academy music selection committee, complete with a printout from an online article that made the bogus assertion the Grammy-nominated Lana Del Rey song “Young And Beautiful” was disqualified for Best Song over a technicality involving The Great Gatsby‘s changed release date. The word Variety appeared on the printout that was sent, but when Warner Bros got wind of it and checked thoroughly, the piece sent was never published by Variety, and it does not appear to have been published anyplace legitimate. Insiders said attempts to figure out the sender were unavailing, so the studio and Interscope focused on setting the record straight with the Oscar committee member who reported receiving the missive and others who might have. Warner Bros, which has several songs from the Baz Luhrmann-directed film on the just-release long list of 75 eligible tunes, is now recutting a music featurette to emphasize the collaboration between Luhrmann and Del Rey on the song, which plays in the scene where Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) regales Daisy (Carey Mulligan) with the grandeur of his mansion. And yes, the song is Oscar-eligible. Read More »

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

By | Saturday November 30, 2013 @ 2:27pm PST

Family Guy BrianA Dog Mystery: Is ‘Family Guy’s Brian Gone?
By Nellie Andreeva Family Guy fans are up in arms this morning over the shocking death of the show’s talking dog Brian, hit by a car in last night’s episode. There is already a petition calling for the dog’s resurrection. While Brian was definitely positively dead and buried by the Griffins in the episode, some fans are suspicious.

MSNBC’s Next Headache: What To Do About Martin Bashir
By Lisa de Moraes MSNBC‘s joint announcement today with Alec Baldwin’s camp that they had mutually decided to end Baldwin’s Up Late interview show leaves the cable news network with just one on-air talent headache: Martin Bashir, whose apology for graphic comments he made about Sarah Palin hasn’t ended chatter as to whether he should be punished.

alec baldwinAlec Baldwin Won’t Be ‘Up Late’ On MSNBC Any More
By Lisa de Moraes MSNBC and Alec Baldwin‘s camp announced jointly that Baldwin’s Friday show is toast: “We are jointly confirming that Up Late will not continue on MSNBC,” MSNBC and Baldwin rep Matthew Hiltzik said. Added MSNBC: “This is a mutual parting and we wish Alec all the best.”

’60 Minutes’ Benghazi Fallout: Lara Logan, Producer Take Leave Of Absence
By Lisa de Moraes Lara Logan, the reporter behind 60 Minutes‘ now-discredited story on the Benghazi attacks, has agreed to take a leave of absence from CBS News. Also taking a leave is producer Max McClellan. Read More »

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Baz Luhrmann Circling HBO’s Stanley Kubrick-Scripted Napoleon Miniseries For Steven Spielberg

By | Tuesday November 26, 2013 @ 2:47pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Back when he was in France to head the Cannes Film Festival jury, Steven Spielberg dropped a bombshell when he announced that he would turn an un-produced Stanley Kubrick screenplay about Napoleon Bonaparte into a miniseries. Well, … Read More »

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Baz Luhrmann Collaborator Anton Monsted Tapped As SVP Fox Music

By | Tuesday August 27, 2013 @ 12:20pm PDT

LOS ANGELES (August 27, 2013) — Twentieth Century Fox has hired accomplished music supervisor and Baz Luhrmann collaborator, Anton Monsted, as senior vice president of Fox Music; Danielle Diego, Head of Fox Music, made the announcement.  Monsted was previously

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2ND UPDATE: WARNER BROS SHAKE-UP – Jeff Robinov Quitting Movie Studio After No New Contract Offered And Kevin Tsujihara’s War Of Silence; Sue Kroll, Dan Fellman, And Greg Silverman May Become Triumvirate

FRIDAY 5 AM, 2ND UPDATE: I’ve learned that Jeff Robinov’s attorney Skip Brittenham officially notified Warner Bros on Thursday that it is in breach of the movie mogul’s contract, and he wants to negotiate his exit.

THURSDAY 6 PM UPDATED THROUGHOUT… EXCLUSIVE 2:45 PM: The destabilization of once rock-solid Warner Bros continues. I’ve learned that Jeff Robinov has decided to leave as Warner Brothers Pictures Group President after months of waiting in vain for Time Warner Jeff Bewkes and Warner Bros Chairman Kevin Tsujihara to offer him a new contract when his expires in December. Robinov is on vacation in New Mexico and this week enlisted both his attorney Skip Brittenham and his friend and former Warner Bros chairman Bob Daly to negotiate his exit. Robinov’s frustration follows Bewkes and Tsujihara placing him inside the ‘cone of silence’ in recent weeks ever since the home entertainment chief was appointed as the new Warner Bros CEO and soon to be chairman. No phone calls of congratulations came from Bewkes or Tsujihara to Robinov after last weekend’s record-setting global successful opening of Man Of Steel or any of the studio’s Summer 2013 big worldwide releases, The Great Gatsby and The Hangover Part III.

[EXCLUSIVE below: Ben Affleck and Baz Luhrmann reflect on their relationships with Robinov while Christopher Nolan's is detailed.]

Witnesses tell me that on the LA to NY plane trip to the Superman premiere June 10th, Tsujihara sat for the five hours not saying a word to Robinov who was sitting opposite him. This cruel behavior was in full view of not only Robinov’s execs but also of the Man Of Steel filmmakers like Christopher Nolan whom Robinov had brought to the studio. I’m told that at the Red Carpet gala at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, which should have been his triumph, Robinov left demoralized after just 15 minutes. This, after he and Tsujihara used to be close friends who went on family vacations together. “I’m constantly being marginalized. My job is shrinking day-to-day,” Robinov confided to a pal the other day. “Kevin is starting to push me out by both the things he’s doing and the responsibilities he’s assuming. It’ll end up with everyone reporting to him. The result is that people at the studio are wondering how they can benefit from this or how they can not get hurt by this. Sitting around is not something I can do, or, by the end of the year, the studio will be in a massive mess.”

I’ve learned that the structure being contemplated for Warner Bros Pictures is not for any one person to replace Robinov, who was a rarity in recent Hollywood in that he did both the business and creative top job at a studio. Instead, his Warner Bros Pictures executives Sue Kroll, President of Worldwide Marketing; Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution; and Greg Silverman, President of Production, would run the studio as a triumvirate under Tsujihara who will take over the business side even though he has no such movie experience. Read More »

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Ben Affleck’s, Baz Luhrmann’s, Christopher Nolan’s Relationships With Jeff Robinov

To understand how Warner Bros Pictures filmmakers may feel about today’s developments, my conversations below may provide some intel. When rumors about Jeff Robinov being forced out as President of Warner Bros Pictures Group first surfaced this spring (Related: NEW WARNER BROS SHAKE-UP: Jeff Robinov Quitting Movie Studio After No New Contract Offered), I spoke to Ben Affleck to get his thoughts on what he called their “dream relationship” during and after The Town and Argo:

On the record. We have history. After Gone Baby Gone [2007] was well regarded but didn’t make money. The phone was not ringing off the hook. but Jeff called. ‘I’m a fan. I loved the film. Let’s sit down and have coffee. I’d really like you to direct movies for us. What do you want to do.” I went from no scripts to 15 Warners’ scripts, he was giving them all to me. He was the only person at a studio doing that. I also have a great relationship with Sue Kroll. But with Jeff, I never hear from anybody to make changes. I’m not told, ‘It tested poorly. Fix it.’ He sticks with me through screenings. I needed $1 million for a couple of reshoots on The Town. ‘You’re the horse I bet on,’ he tells me. ‘I believe in filmmakers.’ It’s a dream relationship.

When George [Clooney] moved his deal out of Warner Bros, all the projects didn’t move with him. Jeff gave me the script for Argo after calling George and Grant [Heslov] to see how I’d hit off with them. I stayed on budget. But I always felt if I had a problem I could call Jeff. Argo was viewed as a very challenging movie itself, skewing older when the public wants a superhero movie. But those two guys – jeff and Sue – really found a way to sell the movie. Sue supported by Jeff was 100% on board. They’re almost a symbiotic relationship. It was obviously an incredible year but if they wouldn’t have bet on us, if they’d not spent a lot of money on us, we wouldn’t have won the Oscar. It was a wonderful experience and why I want to support Jeff.

I’ve seen Jeff’s sensibility change into his job, gracefully and gradually leading with a lot of authority. I have spoken with [Jeff] Bewkes and Kevin [Tsujihara] and Barry [Meyer] but not in great detail as things are evolving at the studio. I’ve kept abreast. I’ve talked about it to Jeff. He’s what I really care about. How we’re going to make it down the road or get along without him I don’t know. Jeff naturally was very disappointed when he didn’t get the top job. He and I have spent a lot of time cultivating this relationship and I never thought that would have culminated in this career high or the most incredible year of my life.

Again, on the record, I don’t know what I would do if Jeff weren’t there. I don’t know from my view anyone else there who knows how to make movies. I would like to support him. So many places are filled with frustrations and run by people who haven’t been sure-footed or have the right taste. Hopefully, it’s about taste. Not everybody has it. Picking Zack Snyder was not obvious. Being able to take risks and make decisions not supported by conventional wisdom. Studios have the power and don’t often cede the power to the director.”

I also received this on-the-record statement from Baz Luhrmann at the same time, which was right before The Great Gatsby hit theaters in May:

Last year, when we were moving towards a Christmas release date for Gatsby, Jeff Robinov said to me, ‘Perhaps you’ll be able to make the release date. But will it be the movie that you want it to be? If you had more time to work on the visual effects and music, would you have a better chance of realizing your vision for the film?’ Jeff was resolute that the most important thing was for me to do my best possible work, and by moving ‘Gatsby’ to the summer, he gave me the time and resources to do it. He showed incredible leadership in not being concerned with the possible media controversy about moving the release date; his sole concern was that Gatsby be the best film that it could be. For which I’ll always be profoundly grateful.

But no Warner Bros Pictures film relationship is more important than with Christopher Nolan. According to several accounts, Robinov’s relationship with Nolan began right after Memento was released in March 2001. Within a month, Nolan’s agent Dan Aloni called Robinov and told him he should meet with the helmer. At first Nolan was going to direct Troy (released in 2004) but wasn’t feeling it. With that Robinov asked if there was anything else Nolan wanted to do – and learned that the director had always had an interest in Batman. At the time, the studio didn’t have a take on a reboot of its lucrative DC Comics franchise. But Nolan came in and brilliantly pitched Robinov who immediately set up a meeting with then studio chief Alan Horn who also bought into it. Read More »

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‘The Great Gatsby’ Starts With $5.4M International As Baz Luhrmann’s Biggest Opening

Leonardo DiCaprioHelped 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, … Read More »

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Hammond On Cannes: Opening Night ‘Gatsby’ Party Wet But Elaborate

Pete Hammond

Baz Luhrmann followed up his biggest opening day in America with his biggest opening day in France as The Great Gatsby took in $78K in partial-day results that still were bigger than his Moulin Rouge and AustraliaRead More »

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‘Great Gatsby’ Soundtrack Sales Zooming Up Billboard 200

By | Saturday May 11, 2013 @ 1:21pm PDT

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. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’

By | Thursday April 4, 2013 @ 6:38am PDT
Mike Fleming

Warner Bros has released a new trailer for the Baz Luhrmann-directed The Great Gatsby, which opens May 10 and also is the curtain raiser at the Cannes Film Festival. We’ve all read and loved the F. … Read More »

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Hot TV Spot: ‘The Great Gatsby’

Warner Bros will release Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby Stateside on May 10. Five days later, it will open the Cannes Film Festival in Lurhmann’s first Palais showcase since Moulin Rouge unforgettably raised the curtain on the 2001 edition. Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and … Read More »

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‘The Great Gatsby’ To Open Cannes Film Festival; Speculation About Competition Titles Begins

Pete Hammond

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. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Great Gatsby’

By | Wednesday December 19, 2012 @ 5:39pm PST

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 … Read More »

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Baz Luhrmann Enters Television With Overall Deal At Sony Pictures TV

By | Monday September 24, 2012 @ 3:24pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

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. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Great Gatsby’

By | Tuesday May 22, 2012 @ 6:10pm PDT

Warner Bros today released the first trailer for Baz Lurhmann’s take on The Great Gatsby, the adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel that stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire and Joel Edgerton. Luhrmann’s visual style takes on an extra dimension with 3D — even if you think … Read More »

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Baz Luhrmann Injured On ‘The Great Gatsby’

By | Friday December 23, 2011 @ 9:09pm PST

This week Warner Bros released the first official stills for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Now Australian news reports say an on-set injury to the filmmaker forced an early end to this year’s shooting of the pic due in theaters next … Read More »

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WB To Open ‘Great Gatsby’ Dec. 25, 2012

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.

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Warner Bros Acquires Post-WWII Don Winslow Novel ‘Satori’ For Leonardo DiCaprio

Mike Fleming

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.

Leonardo DiCaprioFor 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. Read More »

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