Joel Edgerton is currently the hottest rising actor you've probably never heard of. He'll be appearing in two noteworthy titles (Warrior and The Thing) later this year, was previously said to be a contender for roles in The Bourne Legacy and The Hunger Games, and recently landed a starring gig in Kathryn Bigelow's upcoming project about Osama Bin Laden (tentatively titled Kill Bin Laden).
Edgerton now has another item on his acting "to do" list; he'll be stepping in for Ben Affleck and taking on the role of Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann's upcoming adaptation of The Great Gatsby.
Filming is expected to begin soon on Luhrmann's project, a new cinematic adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1920s-set literary masterpiece about life, love, and everything in between. Luhrmann was previously considering shooting the movie in 3D, and Deadline has confirmed that "Warner Bros... will release it in 3D"; hopefully, that means Luhrmann is actually going to use 3D cameras on the project, and not merely convert the film during post-production.
Great Gatsby will star the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio as the (tragically) romantic Jay Gatsby; Carey Mulligan as Gatsby's former lover, Daisy Buchanan; Edgerton as Daisy's rich but brutish and self-absorbed husband, Tom; Isla Fisher as Tom's mistress, Myrtle; newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as professional golfer, Jordan Baker; and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, the cynical narrator of the story who also plays a passive role in the events that transpire.
Most of the casting decisions Luhrmann has made on his Great Gatsby adaptation seem pretty solid, at first glance. DiCaprio could work very well as Gatsby, a self-made millionaire who yearns to be reunited with the woman he loved and lost (insert Shutter Island/Inception joke here) - and Mulligan (while arguably a bit on the young side for the part) has the acting chops to make Daisy an empathetic character that ends up serving as a femme fatale for Gatsby.
Edgerton, in comparison, seems less of an obvious choice for Tom than the likes of Affleck, Luke Evans (who also came close to snagging the role) and even self-proclaimed candidate Bradley Cooper. Luhrmann (obviously) liked what Edgerton brought to the role, having said that "[in a test version of] the big dramatic showdown [scene] between Gatsby and Tom, [Edgerton held] the screen against Leonardo DiCaprio, in the appropriate age group." Take that as you will.
It was previously reported that Luhrmann will be shooting The Great Gatsby on location in his native Australia, rather than Long Island (the setting of Fitzgerald's original novel). Look for the film to hit theaters during the second half of 2012, when awards season starts to get underway.