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The $125 million budgeted movie – based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1922 literary classic and starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the titular Jay Gatsby – was moved to a summer slot to “capitalise on the larger audience possible,” according to a Warner. Bros boss.
The move will avoid a clash with Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti-western tribute Django Unchained, which also stars DiCaprio in the lead role, and will be released by Sony on 25 December, 2012.
Warner. Bros also have some of their own big-hitters scheduled for release late this year, including Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the Wachowski brothers’ new film Cloud Atlas.
Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman said: “Based on what we’ve seen, Baz Luhrmann’s incredible work is all we anticipated and so much more.
“It truly brings Fitzgerald’s American classic to life in a completely immersive, visually stunning and exiting way. We think moviegoers of all ages are going to embrace it, and it makes sense to ensure this unique film reaches the largest audience possible.”
The Great Gatsby stars Carey Mulligan as Gatsby’s love interest Daisy Buchanan and Tobey Maguire as the narrator Nick Carraway. Mulligan has already been tipped as an Oscar contender for her portrayal of Buchanan.
The shift in release is becoming something of a habit for Warner. Bros, who have already pushed four other films from this year to next; Gangster Squad was moved back as a consequence of the Aurora shooting, while Gravity, Bullet to the Head, and Jack the Giant Killer have also been heavily postponed.
Filming the epic story of Gatsby was an epic undertaking in its own right. Baz Luhrmann moved his family from his native Australia to New York, before then deciding to shoot the film at Fox Studios, Sydney. Reports then surfaced in late January 2011 that Luhrmann would ditch the project.
With shooting finally wrapping on 22 December 2011, The Great Gatsby was reported to employ a 275-person crew throughout the pre-production stage with more than 400 cast and crew employed during principal photography. Another estimated 150 post-production and visual effects crew will also be employed.
The shoot had to close down a day earlier than expected after Luhrmann collided with a camera crane when directing a scene, requiring three stitches in his head, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
But Luhrmann believes his cast and crew can make the best version of the four already in existence.
Luhrmann said: “Fitzgerald loved the movies and was a passionate believer in the power of cinema. ‘The Great Gatsby’ has been adapted for the screen no less than four times. Fitzgerald’s story defies time and geography. The vision and the goal of our remarkable cast and creatives is to do justice to the deftness of Fitzgerald’s telling, and illuminate its big ideas and humanity. This is our challenge and our adventure.