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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.

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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.”

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Ben Affleck Circling Big ‘Great Gatsby’ Role

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Ben Affleck is in talks to play the role of Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, the Baz Luhrmann-directed 3D adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald literary classic at Warner Bros. Now, Affleck will have to work to fit this in. After starring in and directing The Town, he’s prepping to direct Argo, a film about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. But signs point toward him making time in his schedule to join Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan in Gatsby. Both projects are at Warner Bros.

Tom Buchanan is the husband of Daisy (Mulligan), in a role originated by Bruce Dern in the 1974 film.  DiCaprio plays Jay Gatsby (Robert Redford starred in the original) and Maguire plays Nick Carraway (Sam Waterston in the 1974 pic). Luhrmann, who wrote the script with Craig Pearce, is still in the process of setting the roles of Jordan Baker (originated by Lois Chiles), the gas station owner George Wilson (Scott Wilson) and his wife Myrtle (played by Karen Black in the original). Tom is having an affair with Myrtle, and they all play a role in a tragedy.

Luhrmann, Catherine Martin and Catherine Knapman of Luhrmann/Bazmark Films will produce with Red Wagon partners Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher. G Mac Brown will also produce. WME reps Affleck.

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Warner Bros Nearing Deal To Acquire Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’

Mike Fleming

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 … Read More »

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