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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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]

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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