The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite novels of all time. To me it is the quintessential Great American novel of the 1920s (sorry, Hemingway). So, when news came out that a new movie adaptation was being created about the novel, I was excited. But then I found out it was being created by Baz Luhrmann, whose work is a bit…over the top for my taste. I was hoping for a sweeping period piece that stuck closely to the novel, but I’m not so sure if I’m going to get it with Luhrmann’s film. Here’s the trailer, in the event you haven’t seen it.
After watching it a few times, I’ve started to come around a little. It looks like the main themes of the novel are there. And it appears that Luhrmann will have no trouble portraying Gatsby’s famous parties to their full dazzlingly overindulgent potential. And the casting also looks promising–I can see Tobey Maguire as narrator Nick, and I think I can see Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby. Carey Mulligan seems slightly young as Daisy, but that girl can act, so I know she’ll give the role her all. Based off Luhrmann’s previous works (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge), I don’t think I’m going to get my sweeping period piece. But he may just surprise me and pull off something I’m willing to go to the theater for.
As an interesting side note, while I was looking around at past Great Gatsby adaptations, I found the trailer for the very first adaptation, made in 1926, just a year after the book was published. It is based off the stage play by Owen Davis, and had a running time of 80 minutes. Unfortunately, only the trailer survives today.