Filmmaking auteur Baz Luhrmann gave classic literature a modern polish when he turned William Shakespeare’s classic love story into the ’90s surrealist pop sensation that was Romeo + Juliet, and now he’s back to take on the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald with The Great Gatsby. Reuniting with his Romeo, Leonardo DiCaprio (who plays the titular role), Luhrmann’s interpretation of early 20th century New York extravagance has certainly garnered attention for being as much of a visual feast as his other work – this time in a 3D format.
Previous trailers for The Great Gatsby have focused on Luhrmann’s signature aesthetic and the (admittedly impressive) 3D visuals, with only a vague hint about the story of a young man named Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), who comes to NYC and falls in with a group of socialites, including mysterious industrialist, Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio). As this new trailer further details, trouble starts when Gatsby moves in on Daisy Buchanan (Carrie Mulligan), the wife of brutish blue-blooded socialite, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton).
While this latest trailer does detail more of the story, it, too, only scratches the surface of Fitzgerald’s multi-arc, multi-layered novel, which explores wealth, class, love, and ambition as reflected through the prism of the grand American Dream. In stead of all that, this trailer offers some quick flashes of violence, anguish and tension – with a quick appearance from an especially nutty-looking Jason Clarke – and some new tunes from music superstars like André 3000 of Outkast, Florence + The Machine, Lana Del Rey, and a sure-to-be-scrutinized Beyoncé cover of “Back to Black” by the late Amy Winehouse. Of course, when the man in charge of scoring your film is none other than Jay-Z, the soundtrack is bound to attract some serious attention (…especially for his wife, Beyonce).
The source material is a classic – but hey, lets be honest, it’s also a book with a long tradition of putting high school (and college) students to sleep. Luhrmann has seemingly found a way to make all the drama and social analysis/commentary into pallatable movie entertainment; his all-star cast – which also includes supporting players like Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers) and Adelaide Clemens (Silent Hill 3D) – is also going to be definite draw for the moviegoing masses.
But will the decision to move Gatsby from a holiday season 2012 slot to an early summer 2013 slot prove to be fruitful?
The Great Gatsby will be in theaters on May 10, 2013.