Baz Luhrmann is looking for the right woman to play Daisy Buchanan in his upcoming adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary gem, The Great Gatsby.
Maybe this story was picked up too early in the process, but apparently every single young actress in Hollywood is up for the role.
The list, so far, includes Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Hall, Blake Lively, Keira Knightley, Amanda Seyfried, and Abbie Cornish. All of these women would make a great Daisy, but it doesn’t read like a list of potential leads in a Baz Luhrmann film. Some are definitely more willing to exit their comfort zone for a role on film – the only ones that truly seem to fit his style in my opinion are Portman, Williams, Cornish, and Seyfried.
In addition to these lovely ladies, Luhrmann will need to cast the characters Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, and Tom Buchanan. According to Deadline, the director has already done some test runs on his delivery of the famous story.
“Leonardo DiCaprio read the role of Gatsby, Tobey Maguire read Nick Carraway, and that The Town star Rebecca Hall read the role of Daisy.”
Obviously this brings Hall to the front of the pack. But given Luhrmann’s track record for eccentric storytelling, she just feels out of place. Even DiCaprio, who was fantastic as Romeo in Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet may have outgrown the style necessary for this kind of interpretation. But the relationship between DiCaprio and Luhrmann is obviously strong – and Luhrmann tends to stick with the people he uses in workshops.
The Great Gatsby is a tale that excels in its simplicity. As complicated as the characters are, the story is one that unfolds seamlessly. If Luhrmann can hold back just enough to let the story do the work, DiCaprio’s recent run with torn characters would fit well. Tobey Maguire would be an acceptable choice for Carraway as well. Am I crazy for thinking Brad Pitt would work beautifully in a Baz Luhrmann film?
As for the leading lady, Hall is talented enough to make Daisy work. But the laundry list of young starlets above provides plenty of better options. Portman would excel under Luhrmann’s direction and alongside DiCaprio. She has had her weaker roles, but typically is as strong as her director – Australia aside, Luhrmann is plenty strong. Williams has also shown a propensity to take a leap of faith with her directors – a trait that would benefit her in this film.
Knightley is one of the more established dramatic actresses on the list, but her sizzle may have worn off in recent years. Lively may not be able to handle the acting load yet and she just looks too contemporary for the time period. Seyfried and Cornish would be interesting picks – both are willing to explore new boundaries on film. As classically beautiful as she is, Johansson seems like a throwaway pick alongside these other talented actresses.
The Great Gatsby is a film to keep your eye on. Robert Redford and Mia Farrow starred in a 1974 adaptation that won two Oscars. Francis Ford Coppola wrote the screenplay for Jack Clayton to direct. Luhrmann’s interpretation will likely be more contemporary, but Fitzgerald’s gem needs little work.
Which of these actresses would you like to play Daisy Buchanan? Share your thoughts in the comments section.