“It Takes Two to Make an Accident”: Notes on “Great Gatsby” Adaptations Past and Future

Posted by Nick Curley

On their site, New York magazine asks: “Should They Even Be Making Another Great Gatsby Movie?”  Which given the book’s adaptation track record seems not unlike asking, “Are Venereal Diseases Necessary?”  That said, their comments-section-call-to-arms does stir up a few chilling notes:

1)      The best casting in a Gatsby flick to date has been Paul Rudd as Nick Carraway.  Runner-up would likely be Sam Waterston playing the same role in 1974.  Waterston incidentally deserves some kind of Thankless Gigs in Modern Classics award for not only playing a half-decent Carraway on film, but also a totally adequate Tom Wingfield and a decidedly not shitty Sydney Schanberg!

2)      Gatsby is always cast as way more attractive than I’d pictured him.  If there’s some quotation from the book that suggests he’s supposed to be far better looking than all of the socialites he’s trying to impress, please advise.  Until then: Robert Redford and Leonardo Dicaprio?  Toby Stephens?  He looked like a freakin’ man-minx in the role!  At least Leo has proven he can pull off sociopaths who don’t realize they’re stone foxes, but Redford?

3)      Judging from the picture there were using as of 11:00 this morning (as seen above), NYMag.com appears to have confused Tobey Maguire with Jake Gyllenhaal.  Whatta scoop!  (Note: The frame has since been amended with a very tight-lipped picture of Maguire.  Judging from the expression on his face, they seem to have bought his silence.)

To close, here’s someone’s homemade trailer for the ’74 version, cut to the Beyonce song “Halo”.  Your guess, as per usual, is as good as ours.