The Great Gatsby TV series

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic The Great Gatsby has had its share of film and television adaptations already, but since it entered the public domain at the start of this year, it’s fair to expect a flurry of new iterations to enter development in the halls of Hollywood studios.

A new report states that writer Michael Hirst (Vikings, The Tudors) is working on a big budget television adaptation of the novel that is being envisioned as a closed-ended miniseries which “will explore New York’s Black community in the 1920s as well as the musical subculture.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hirst, who has been working on this project for three years, is teaming up with A+E Studios and ITV Studios America for a new take on The Great Gatsby. The show will be shopped to premium cable outlets and streamers, but does not have a home yet. It was previously set up at Apple, but they passed on it last year. Hirst will write the script, and he’ll executive produce alongside Michael London (Sideways, Milk), with Blake Hazard, a great-granddaughter of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, serving as a consulting producer.

Here’s part of Hirst’s statement of intent with the series:

“As the critic Lionel Trilling once wrote: ‘The Great Gatsby is still as fresh as when it first appeared, it has even gained in weight and relevance.’ Today, as America seeks to reinvent itself once again, is the perfect moment to look with new eyes at this timeless story, to explore its famous and iconic characters through the modern lens of gender, race and sexual orientation. Fitzgerald’s profoundly romantic vision does not prevent him examining and exposing the darker underbelly of the American experience, which is why the story speaks to both tragedy and hope, and why it continues to resonate today.”

Farah Jasmine Griffin, Columbia University’s William B. Ransford professor of English and comparative literature and African-American studies, will also serve as a consultant on the series, which is said to “dig deeper into the hidden lives of its characters through the modern lens of a fractured American dream while also capturing the full majesty of Fitzgerald’s timeless vision.”

Hazard says she has “long dreamt of a more diverse, inclusive version of Gatsby that better reflects the America we live in,” and this project sounds like a drastic departure from the lily-white adaptations we’ve seen in the past. I’m curious to see how closely it will stick to the source material and how much Hirst will be willing to explore these previously untold stories with Fitzgerald’s world as a backdrop. In the meantime, though, revisit the absolutely insane number of times Leonardo DiCaprio’s Gatsby says the words “old sport” in the 2013 film:

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