The first official The Great Gatsby pictures became available online a few days ago. Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke, and Isla Fisher star in this latest big-screen version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous novel. Moulin Rouge’s Baz Luhrmann, who became major world news after injuring his head a week or so ago, directs. Set shortly after the end of World War I, The Great Gatsby is told through the eyes of Nick Carraway (Maguire), a returning war veteran who becomes part of the upper-class universe of Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio).
There have been (at least) three previous The Great Gatsby adaptations for the big screen. A 1926 silent version is now lost. Only the trailer remains. Directed by future Oscar nominee Herbert Brenon, the silent starred future Oscar winner Warner Baxter as Jay Gatsby and Lois Wilson as Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan in the new film). A hard-to-find 1949 version of The Great Gatsby starred Alan Ladd, then one of the studio’s top stars, and Betty Field. Elliott Nugent, whose career consisted mostly of B movies and programmers, directed. The extensive supporting cast included MacDonald Carey, Ruth Hussey, Barry Sullivan, Howard Da Silva, and Shelley Winters. The film wasn’t a critical success.
An eagerly awaited 1974 version directed by Jack Clayton turned out to be both a critical and commercial flop despite a cast that included Robert Redford as Gatsby, Mia Farrow as Daisy, in addition to Karen Black, Scott Wilson, Bruce Dern, Sam Waterston, and, once again, Howard Da Silva.
Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby opens — in 3D — on December 25, 2012.
Leonardo DiCaprio/Carey Mulligan/The Great Gatsby photo: Warner Bros.