EXCLUSIVE: While James Bond has gotten the lion’s share of attention from studios this week, Jay Gatsby has also been making a stir around town. I’m told Warner Bros has emerged as the clear frontrunner to finance and take worldwide distribution on The Great Gatsby, the Baz Luhrmann-directed adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic.
The film will star Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan. The pieces are still coming together, but a deal could be done by Friday. Deals with the cast will follow, with DiCaprio furthest along in negotiations to play Gatsby. Red Wagon partners Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher have joined the project, and will produce with Luhrmann, Catherine Martin and Catherine Knapman of Luhrmann/Bazmark Films. G Mac Brown will also produce. Luhrmann wrote the script with Craig Pearce. Given what is happening, recent reports that Luhrmann might not do The Great Gatsby seem completely unfounded. Though Luhrmann also has an original musical project and is refashioning his breakout film Strictly Ballroom as a stage musical, he has been squarely focused on Gatsby. He spent weeks recently reading top young actresses for the role of the manipulative Daisy Buchanan, before Luhrmann decided that Mulligan was the right fit to play alongside DiCaprio and Maguire (who’ll play narrator Nick Carraway). Warner Bros seems a good fit: the studio is home to DiCaprio’s Appian Way, and he just starred in Inception; Warner Bros has also wanted to be in business with Luhrmann.
As for Bond, Deadline revealed Tuesday that the franchise is close to landing at Sony Pictures, in a deal with MGM that involves the studios working together on a number of films that include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
UPDATE: Relativity confirmed they’ve signed Julia Roberts, and have set a June 29, 2012 release date. That puts The Brothers Grimm: Snow White six months ahead of the preliminary release plan for Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman. … Read More »
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 … Read More »
The blogosphere was jumping late last week with a very speculative report that Baz Luhrmann had set Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Amanda Seyfried to play the leads in The Great Gatsby, a new adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Now let me tell you what’s real and what’s not: The truth is Luhrmann doesn’t know if he’ll do Gatsby next. He’s set up an original musical at Media Rights Capital that is also a candidate for his next directing slot. But Luhrmann does love DiCaprio after directing him in Romeo & Juliet and nearly getting to the starting line with him in an Alexander The Great film that got derailed because Oliver Stone got into production first with Colin Farrell. (And we know how that fared.) I’m told Baz has had a conversation with DiCaprio for the role of Jay Gatsby, played by Robert Redford in the 1974 film. This has been an obvious development, even mentioned by Deadline’s Nikki Finke when she broke the exclusive in late 2008 that Luhrmann was working on a new Gatsby.
The latest is that Leo hasn’t said yes. In fact, no offer has been made. Yes, Tobey Maguire is at the top of Luhrmann’s mind to do Nick Carraway, the narrator played by Sam Waterston in the 1974 bomb. Despite the speculation about Seyfried, I’m told that role is wide open in Luhrmann’s mind. Mia Farrow played the Daisy role in the 1974 film, and I found her so annoying that I couldn’t for a moment imagine why Redford’s Gatsby would have pined for her all those years.
Who doesn’t reimagine Fitzgerald’s enigmatic classic, so here are some casting suggestions for both a young and old interpretation. If Baz casts young, I’d like to see Chris Pine or Michael Pitt as Gatsby if Leo turns it down. We agree that Tobey would be a great Nick. Daisy is the key, but in the book she’s a much more manipulative and calculating socialite than the aging ingenue that Farrow portrayed last time around. Nikki likes Carey Mulligan for Daisy, but I’d go with Natalie Portman. Zachary Quinto has the edge with us to play Daisy’s dangerously jealous husband Tom because he has the sexual edge that Bruce Dern was missing. And Emma Stone or Michelle Monaghan could handle the sexpot Myrtle Wilson which Karen Black played in too ditzy fashion. Both actresses could bring an earthy knowingness to enhance the role. And I suggest Rachel McAdams as Jordan. Read More »
BREAKING NEWS: Baz Luhrmann is refashioning his feature directing debut Strictly Ballroom into a stage musical. The original film was written and directed by Luhrmann based on a stage play he originally conceived and cowrote as a student at Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Art. It’s getting another go on the stage as Luhrmann will hold a creative workshop in December in Sydney, Australia. Sounds like this one will follow a fast track to the stage. Read More »