The Lesser Gatsby

It does not matter how much we hate the idea, how much we deny it or try to wish it away: Baz Luhrmann is making a 3D version of The Great Gatsby.  This idea is easily the worst thing to happen to literature on the big screen since Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.  The absolutely worst thing to ever happen to books is definitely The Overton Window, but this does come close.

The reason I had not written about this before was that I hadn’t realized it was relevant, and I was trying to deny the whole thing.  Then I realized that a year ago, on this blog, I suggested that Bale should make The Greater Gatsby.  Of course, I have suggested lots of things on here.  What makes this significant is that I suggested DiCaprio play Gatsby’s bastard son, while Luhrmann is going for the less original approach, and just having DiCaprio play Gatsby.

 The problem is that you’re competing with this guy when you make a Gatsby remake.


The fact is, there is no good reason to make another Great Gatsby movie.  You are doomed if you try to adapt the original novel to the big screen (recall that I suggested a sequel, not a remake).  It will either be a) boring, because it is faithful to the original and everyone already knows that story, or b) terrible, because it won’t be faithful to the original, and everyone loves that story and why would you try to improve it?  Regardless of what you do, people will be mad.

However, I do think I have a solution.  Luhrmann needs to forget about DiCaprio and replace him with Andre 3000, changing the setting to the Harlem Renaissance, and making it a musical.  Nick Canon can portray the narrator Nick Carraway, with Rihanna as Jordan Baker, Beyonce as Daisy, and either Michael Clarke Duncan or Idris Elba (Stringer Bell) as Tom Buchanan.

 Sort of like this, but with the Great Gatsby’s plot.  Come on, you know that’s a better idea than a loyal remake.


Of course, all this leaves one question: where is Bale in all of this?  He can be the mechanic.  His wife is Amy Adams, with whom Tom Buchanan is having an affair.  The only consolation for Andre 3000 getting gunned down at the end is that it’s Bale who is doing the killing.


  1. >I rather see Stringer Bell be the mechanic and take down Bale as Tom Buchanan but that is just because I loved the Wire.

  2. >I think it might make sense for Stringer Bell to be the mechanic… maybe Bale can play the guy who fixed the world series. Or the guy with the owl eyes.

  3. >Perhaps, Seth. I think one possibility that could be played up, and has been played down in the past, is the idea of Gatsby as a criminal and corrupter – here, corrupting both Daisy and Nick Carraway and disrupting the world around them. Of course, the setting would already be a world of constant change – it might make sense for Carraway to be a jazz musician trying to make a name for himself but largely unnoticed, while Buchanan and Daisy are part of the Cotton Club crowd.

  4. >Yes, playing up the criminal, sinister element of Gatsby would make him much more appealing. He is rather boring in most versions of plays and movies. If Bale is the guy with owl eyes will he get enough screen time? I feel he is getting delegated to the back here. Maybe you just need to create a character.

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