Captain Phillips writer Billy Ray is set to write and direct The Last Tycoon, an HBO drama series project based on F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s final unfinished novel. Party Of Five co-creator Chris Keyser is attached as showrunner to the project, which hails from Sony Pictures TV and I hear garnered interest from five networks, landing at HBO with penalty. Inspired by the life of film mogul Irving Thalberg, on whom protagonist Monroe Stahr was based, The Last Tycoon centers on Stahr, Hollywood’s first wunderkind studio executive in the 1930′s as he climbs to the height of power pitting him against his mentor and current head of the studio Pat Brady, a character based on Louis B. Mayer. With Stahr as a focal point, the series delves into the true violence, sex and towering ambition of Hollywood in the 30′s. Ray and Keyser executive produce with Perri Kipperman, Josh Maurer, David Stern and Alix Witlin. Ray, repped by CAA, Management 360 and Peter Nichols, will direct the upcoming The Secret In Their Eyes and Departure. Keyser also is with CAA.
F Scott Fitzgerald‘s handwritten ledger chronicling his film payments 1919-1938 is now online just weeks before the release of Baz Luhrmann’s new film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Which, according to these meticulous records, first earned Fitzgerald $16,666 from Hollywood. Including a 10% commission he paid. Twice. This fascinating document is part of the Matthew and Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F Scott Fitzgerald held by the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections located in the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. The writer meticulously tracked his earnings. Here in chronological order is what the movie industry coughed up to him before commissions were taken out. Math wizards can computate what these numbers mean in today’s dollars. But, hey, isn’t that price for a treatment what MGM is still paying?
Head And Shoulders - $2,500.00
Myra Meets His Family – $1,000.00
The Off Shore Pirate – $2,250.00
‘Option on my output’ – $3,000.
The Beautiful And Damned – $2,500.00
This Side Of Paradise – $10,000.00
The Camel’s Back – $1,000.00
Grit – $2,000.00
Titles for Glimpses Of The Moon – $500.00
The Great Gatsby – $16,666.00
‘California work’ on Lipstick - $3,500 00
‘Additional Payment’ The Great Gatsby - $3,333.00
‘Treatment’ Metro Goldwyn Mayer – $6,000
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.
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 …
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.