F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, long considered one of the greatest of American novels, has never had a definitive big-screen treatment. Neither the 1949 Alan Ladd/Betty Field version nor the 1974 Robert Redford/Mia Farrow version is particularly well regarded, and to even attempt an adaptation of such a beloved classic is fraught with peril.

Naturally, that means Baz Luhrmann wants to take a stab at it. Nikke Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily is reporting "exclusive" inside information that Luhrmann -- whose Australia is currently struggling to make back its bloated budget -- will make The Great Gatsby for Twentieth Century Fox as his next project. Finke says the Aussie director is looking for cast members now.

I love this book and would love to see a film version that captures it -- but honestly, I don't see Baz Luhrmann doing that. His loose, frenetic, slapsticky style (which is great in the right context, like Moulin Rouge) is all wrong for Gatsby. Will he restrain himself? Or will he turn it into a Baz Luhrmann story?

Consider also that The Great Gatsby, set in the Roaring '20s, is a quintessential American story. Assuming he keeps the Long Island setting (and woe betide him if he doesn't), it would be Luhrmann's first film to take place in a real, non-stylized United States. Romeo + Juliet seems to have been set in Miami, but it was a whacked-out version of it. Part of the magic of Gatsby is that it captures the flavor of a real era in American history (which wasn't history yet when it was written, of course). I hope Luhrmann can stay true to that.

For fans of the book, who do you think should play Daisy, Nick, and Gatsby? Is the whole thing a terrible idea, or can a proper film version be done?
categories Movies, Cinematical