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The Great Gatsby Film to Debut

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Maryland chapter.


In less than one month, a new movie interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s eleventh-grade-curriculum book “The Great Gatsby” will hit theaters.


Directed by Baz Luhrmann, who is also known for directing “Mouin Rouge!” and “Romeo + Juliet,” “The Great Gatsby” features Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, Joe Edgerton as Tom Buchanan and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway.


The movie’s trailer revealed that the film will closely follow the iconic novel’s plotline.  This aspect attracts students who read the book, either for a high school class or more recently, and are familiar with the story.


“I really wanna go see it,” senior English language and literature major Corinne Canning said.


Canning explained that as an English major, she is used to reading almost all of the novels society has deemed as “classics.”  She said that often when these classics are turned into movies, the films are not nearly as successful as the books.


“It’s hard to please people when everyone who has read the book is picturing something different in their heads,” Canning added.


The stakes for this version of “The Great Gatsby” are especially high because it is not the first time the book has been transformed into a movie.


In 1974, director Jack Clayton employed the talents of Robert Redford, playing Jay Gatsby, Mia Farrow, playing Daisy Buchanan, Bruce Dern, playing Tom Buchanan, and Sam Waterston, playing Nick Carraway, in his interpretation of Fitzgerald’s novel.


According to a blog written by Peter Bart, editorial director of Variety, the 1974 adaptation of Fitzgerald’s book “overcame its flaccid reviews and rolled up solid numbers at the box office.”


The film won two Oscars: one for best costume design and another for best music, scoring original song score and/or adaptation.


For students, however, this new adaptation may not have to compete with the 1974 film.


“I honestly didn’t even know they had made the book into a movie before,” junior hearing and speech major Allison Davies said.

Davies added that she thought this 2013 film was the first time directors transformed the book into a movie.  She said her parents knew about the earlier movie, but she had never seen it.


“For [my parents,] they have another movie and a book to compare [the movie] to,” Davies said.  “But all I have to go off of is the book that I read in high school.”


The marketers of the film are clearly targeting younger audiences.  Clothing company Brooks Brothers released a Gatsby collection inspired by the clothing that is featured in the movie.  The soundtrack for the film also includes artists such as Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey, Florence + The Machine and Gotye.


With the film’s release date set for May 10, one can expect eager “The Great Gatsby” fans to be lined up outside of movie theaters throughout the evening of May 9.


Will this 2013 version of the book will live up to readers’ expectations and desires?  Perhaps this will finally be the movie that earns DiCaprio an Oscar.  Only time will tell.

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Student journalist in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. Proud sister of Alpha Rho Chapter of Kappa Delta.