Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann's long-rumored adaptation of The Great Gatsby is now picking up steam, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire workshopping the roles of Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway, respectively. (That doesn't mean they'll be in the movie, necessarily, but they're certainly likely choices.) The Town's Rebecca Hall is also in the running for the part of Daisy Buchanan.

Some people really like Baz Luhrmann, but thinking of his hyperactive, superficial, stubbornly literal-minded adaptation of Romeo and Juliet (memorably titled William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, as though the prospective audience needed either reassurance or a reminder) fills me with concern as his hands close on the greatest of American novels. In fact, why bother adapting Gatsby at all? It's already flawless. The best film adaptations usually come from trashy sources with solid plots, where the director can actually improve on the material (see The Godfather).

As far as casting, DiCaprio always tries hard, but he usually tries too hard. I never pictured Gatsby being drenched in flop sweat. Maguire is more or less a blank slate, which probably suits a character whose only role in the novel is as an observer (and who therefore has no real reason to exist on-screen — again, why are we doing this?) Lastly, Rebecca Hall has pretty eyes. Please tell her to call me; I will convince her not to despoil this classic novel, perhaps over a drink.

Commentarium (8 Comments)

Oct 19 10 - 6:10pm
explainerguy

'mangling' is letting him off too easy.

Oct 19 10 - 7:03pm
Vinegar Bend

This is an incalculably bad idea, but the target audience probably doesn't even know the book.

Oct 19 10 - 7:30pm
Ivana Boob-Reduction

Let me guess...Luhrmann will spell it "The Gr8 G@tsby"?

Oct 19 10 - 8:21pm
bearman33

No, that's how Prince or a rapper might spell it. I can see the headlines now, Not So Great Gatsby, The Mediocre Gatsby, etc.

Oct 19 10 - 9:59pm
just mike

With his hair slicked back (as it always seems to be), Leo looks just like Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby...

Oct 20 10 - 1:54pm
c squared

I thought Vinny Chase already made this movie?

Oct 20 10 - 10:14pm
JT

I will watch anything with Leo in it. Even if it's a bad remake of one of my favourite books. Just sayin'.

Oct 23 10 - 12:54am
E

This is the worst idea ever. American film has reached a new low in it's attempt to ruin classic literature with "pop culture icons". Toby Maguire?? The Great Gatsby?? REALLY? They shouldn't even be in the same sentence! Poor F. Scott must be weeping in his grave.