By Steven Zeitchik
Those aghast at Baz Luhrmann taking on the Shakespeare canon may have new reason for indignation. Luhrmann is considering tackling a classic of a more recent century. Are you ready ('cause we're not sure that you are). He's considering shooting a version of...The Great Gatsby.
As THR's intrepid Jillian Karger reports from the MoMA tribute to the Aussie auteur in New York Monday night, Luhrmann has been toying with the idea of adapting the Fitzgerald classic about Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway and the other happenings at West Egg. "I probably shouldn't let the cat out of the bag, but I've been thinking about 'The Great Gatsby,'" he told the audience.
On the one hand, the book has the kind of flash that Luhrmann revels in. And with its depiction of glamour and new wealth it has a surprising degree of modern relevance (or did until the fiancial markets collapsed). And, come to think of it, Luhrmann is sort of a Gatsby-esque figure in his own right.
But aren't some things sacred? Or, what we really mean, shouldn't some things be protected from Luhrmannish hands? (And didn't Jack Clayton's 1974 version, complete with the Coppola-penned screenplay, offer a definitive word on the classic novel?)
That said, we'd actually be interested to see what Luhrmann does with it, though we can already hear the howsl of protest, the ones in the vein of: If Luhrmann does this, what other stalwart works of American literature might he want to take on -- Huck Finn? The Old Man and the Sea? The mind races at the possibilities, even as the ghosts of Hemingway and Twain might race the other way.