Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ Officially Begins Production

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:47 pm,

The Great Gatsby Baz Luhrmann Baz Luhrmanns The Great Gatsby Officially Begins Production

Photos of Baz Luhrmann, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Tobey Maguire riding around in a shiny old-fashioned automobile that will be used in The Great Gatsby leaked out this past week.

Luhrmann has now officially begun principal photography on his adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, which has been adapted for the big screen several times before. Now, however, it will be given a $150 million 3D makeover, courtesy of the man who brought us films like Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet.

That Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby is being shot in 3D has left many a fan of Fitzgerald’s character-driven novel (and moviegoers in general) perplexed, to say the least. On the other hand, the film’s impressive cast should help ensure that this turns out to be a pretty good literary interpretation.

In case you somehow ducked out of reading Fitzgerald’s cherished American novel in high school (or have yet to get there), here is an official synopsis for Luhrmann’s adaptation:

“The Great Gatsby” follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway (Maguire) as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio), and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles.

Additional members of the cast include Isla Fisher as Tom’s mistress, Myrtle Wilson; Jason Clarke (Public Enemies) as Myrtle’s (for a while) oblivious husband, George; and newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker, a cynical professional golfer who becomes the semi-love interest for Maguire as Nick.

Luhrmann is co-writing the Great Gatsby adaptation with his Red Curtain trilogy collaborator, Craig Pearce, and will once again work with multiple Academy Award-winning production/costume designer Catherine Martin (she’s worked on all of Luhrman’s previous directorial efforts). Serving as the director of photography for the film will be Simon Duggan (I, Robot, Underworld: Evolution, Live Free or Die Hard).

Luhrmann on the set of 'Moulin Rouge!'

The casting for Great Gatsby seems pretty dead on, as far as playing to each actor or actress’ strengths go (see: DiCaprio as the handsome, but haunted, Gatsby, Edgerton as the physically-intimidating Tom, etc.). Luhrmann’s truly unique visual style in movies like Moulin Rouge! tends to inspire love/hate reactions from people, but chances are good that he’ll design Fitzgerald’s story as more a conventional, but grandiose, period drama, along the lines of his last film, Australia.

Therein lies the reason for concern that Luhrmann’s new production will suffer from the same issues that most people feel severely weakened Australia – namely, a bloated narrative, overblown production values, and so much romanticized atmosphere that the movie often crossed over into unintentionally campy territory. Hence why the idea of Luhrmann shooting a 3D version of Great Gatsby – one budgeted far north of $100 million – kind of reads as being a mixed blessing right now.

Look for The Great Gatsby to arrive in theaters by late 2012.

Source: Warner Bros./Village Roadshow

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  1. I’m rereading Gatsby right now (partially in anticipation of the upcoming film, but mostly for the pleasure of Fitzgerald’s illuminating prose). The budget, and 3D prospect, seems absurd to say the least. But, I hope it turns out to be a high quality film.

    With this, On the Road, and Anna Karenina set for next year, I have a lot to be excited about as a young literati.

    • I agree, I mean, is that budget and the 3D really necessary for Gatsby?
      Or is Luhrmann going to have CGI settings or somnething to play around with the 3D?

      Still plan on watching it though, love the novel.

  2. Didn’t Scorsese already make a Gatsby film a few years ago? I could swear Vincent Chase was in it.

  3. I have little faith in Luhrmann getting this right.
    I am not sure any director is capable of it.
    In F. Scott Fitzgerald I have total faith.

    My favorite lines form the book:

    “He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.”

  4. It’s a great book. I’ve seen the film version with Robert Redford in and it was a very good interpretation. Decaprio would be a great (no pun intended) Gatsby.

    I just hope it’s not some absurd musical like Moulin Rouge.

    • I meant “Dicaprio”

  5. I am so anxiously waiting for this film. I just hope that it’s not bad like Luhrmann’s last film Australia. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  6. I can’t wait to see this movie. It is one of my favorite books and should truely make a marvelous movie. But 3D? I don’t know why and would rather watch it in 2D

    • Let’s make Gone With the Wind in 3d? How bout Citizen Kane? Battleship Potemkin?

      This is one of the absurdest uses of 3d I can imagine. What in Great Gatsby screams action-filled 3-d gimmicks? Why should this classic fall into the category as Shark Night 3d?

      Don’t the movie industry realize that 3d is hurting the industry not helping?

      I have a 3 year old who I can’t take to a single animated movie this year because every local theater wants to show these movies in 3d. Have you ever been able to keep anything on a 3 year old’s head and make them sit still?

      These movies have lost millions of dollars by forgetting who their real audience is and now movies that have not one reason to be shot in 3d are.

      What’s next? We going to start shooting the Republican debates in 3d so we can see up close all the Obama finger pointing.

      Should of just let Uwe Boll direct this film now.

  7. I’m Australian and I don’t known anybody who liked Australia, let alone even seen it.

  8. Australia was horrible. Great Gatsby has been done to death. Whatever studio is green lighting this must need a loss for a tax write off. Easy pass.

  9. I liked Australia, decent movie.

    It sounds good till you say 3D and high budget, I might wait to see this on DVD now.

  10. Damn. I thought Bradley Cooper was in talks to play Tom Buchanan. Oh well, I’m still looking forward to it. Leo seems like an odd choice for me though, at least in my picture of Gatsby. But considering who has played Gatsby in the past (Redford), he’d be a good choice to keep the tradition of older heart-throbs cast in the role.

  11. I’m extremely skeptical of this movie being a good adaption; however, I will reserve my judgement until I see the final product.

  12. Done to death? If by that you mean that abortion of a Redford/Farrow film, then yeah. Gatsby is my favorite book, period. And that version sucked so hard it was damn near turned inside out. But I am right there with ya on the 3D.