Ask anyone with even a passing familiarity of contemporary literature what the Great American Novel is, and you’re bound to hear the name The Great Gatsby more a few times. First published in 1924, F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s best loved work captured the zeitgeist of the country in the glittering ’20s, as well as the timeless elation and tragedy of the American Dream.

So it’s not an exaggeration to say that this new cinematic adaptation of the classic tale, from (Australian) director Baz Luhrmann, has a lot to live up to. Happily, Luhrmann’s got a top-shelf cast helping him out. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as the title character Jay Gatsby, the ultimate self-made American man, while Tobey Maguire play writer Nick Carraway, who narrates the proceedings. Rounding out the cast are Carey Mulligan as Gatsby’s long-simmering love interest and Nick’s cousin Daisy Buchanan, Joel Edgerton as her brutish husband Tom, Isla Fisher as his mistress Myrtle, and newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Daisy’s friend and Nick’s love interest Jordan. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Tuesday morning at CinemaCon, Warner Bros held their big presentation outlining their film releases for the rest of 2012. Filmmakers and stars presented exclusive unseen footage, trailers and sizzle reels.

We screened a five minute tonal sizzle reel for Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises, 10 minutes of selected cuts from Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit‘ in 48 frames per second 3D, Baz Luhrmann‘s 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby, and Jay Roach‘s political comedy The Campaign starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis.

After the jump you can find a video blog I recorded with Frosty from Collider and Alex from FirstShowing discussing our reactions to all the footage, including the higher frame rates of The Hobbit.

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After a healthy crop of spy pics have shown up showing Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan in costume for Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby, here are the first official shots from Warner Bros. They certainly look good, but it would be difficult not to with a $100m+ budget and that cast. Take a gander at two images below and wonder about how the the glitter of the group shot will be so much more dazzling in 3D. Read More »

Great Gatsby header

Certain movies are rumored and talked about for so long it’s kind of surreal to actually see them in production. Among the films on that long and distinguished list might be Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby. For well over a year, the film was set to star Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire as Gatsby and Carraway. Then the search for Daisy, eventually landing on Carey Mulligan, took some time longer. Then there was a question if Luhrmann was going to make the film at all, whether or not he’d be shooting it in 3D and more. Well it is in 3D, it stars all of those people and it is now shooting aimed at a December 25, 2012 release. You can see some great images of the three leads in costume after the jump. Read More »

Briefly: Baz Luhrmann has added two more to his 3D film version of The Great Gatsby. (Why is this 3D, again?)

His take on the ‘great American novel’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald already features Leonardo DiCaprio as the wealthy Jay Gatsby; Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, the object of Gatsby’s unrequited love; Tobey Maguire as narrator Nick Carraway; Joel Edgerton as Daisy’s husband, old-money dillweed Tom Buchanan; Isla Fisher as Myrtle, with whom Tom is having an affair; and Jason Clarke as George Wilson, Myrtle’s husband.

Now Gemma Ward, who was recently seen as a mermaid in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, will play an undisclosed role, and Callan McAuliffe has signed on to play the young Jay Gatsby in a few scenes. Along with young Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki, who also recently signed on to play Nick Carraway’s love interest, Jordan Baker, that makes a nice complement of Australian actors for this Long Island-set story. Not that I’m complaining; I’ve really warmed up to the idea of Edgerton playing Tom Buchanan. The 3D part on the other hand… well, not so much. [EW and Variety]

VOTD: ‘[the films of] Baz Luhrmann’

In our last post about Kees van Dijkhuisen‘s ongoing “[the films of]” series, we gave his hint for the next director who’d be getting the montage treatment: “theatrical.” At the time, we could only guess what that clue might mean. Now, in retrospect, the answer seems obvious. The fifth installment of van Dijkhuisen’s yearlong, twelve-part homage series, “[the films of] Baz Luhrmann,” focuses on the Aussie director’s lush, unapologetically romantic style, as seen in his films Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, and Australia. Watch it after the jump.

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The process has been incredibly long and arduous, but Baz Luhrmann is slowly putting together an impressive cast for his 3D vision of F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s masterpiece The Great Gatsby. The latest person to join the fray is Joel Edgerton, who’ll play Tom Buchanan, a role that was originally supposed to go to Ben Affleck before he stepped out to direct Argo. Among geeks, Edgerton is best known for his role at Uncle Owen in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith but since then, with turns in Animal Kingdom and The Square, has become quite the in-demand leading man. He’s in The Thing prequel that’s on the way, Warrior with Tom Hardy and now, he’ll be popping out of your screen opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan and Isla Fisher. Read what Luhrmann had to say about Edgerton and more after the jump. Read More »

Up to this point, Baz Luhrmann‘s been filling his 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby with well-known talents: Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, and of course, Leonardo DiCaprio as the titular Gatsby. So it’s surprising and intriguing that the latest addition to his cast is a newcomer — Elizabeth Debicki, who comes straight out of Australia’s Victorian College of the Arts. Debicki will play golfer Jordan Baker, who in F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic novel is a friend of Daisy Buchanan (Mulligan) and the love interest of Nick Carraway (Maguire).

In an interview, Luhrmann acknowledged the unusual nature of his selection:

It was a surprising result, but Elizabeth’s grasp of the material and her chemical connectivity to Tobey Maguire, in addition to her striking, athletic appearance, had us in a place where we were fully confident and ready to take the leap of giving the role of Jordan Baker to what, I guess, people would term ‘a discovery’… We are thrilled.

The major characters yet to be cast is Daisy’s husband Tom Buchanan (Ben Affleck was in talks, but bowed out due to schedule conflicts). Isla Fisher has been in talks to play Tom’s mistress Myrtle Wilson. [Deadline]

After the jump, Katie Holmes and Chace Crawford find love, and Alexander Skarsgard signs on for a dramedy.

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