Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire to star in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby

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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.