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Baz Luhrmann Casts Joel Edgerton As Tom Buchanan In 'The Great Gatsby'

by Oliver Lyttelton
May 17, 2011 12:29 PM
6 Comments
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The anointment of Joel Edgerton as a freshly minted A-lister looks to be complete. The Australian actor seemed to be on the brink of something for a decade, but 2011 may be the year in which the stars align: his small, but pivotal role in "Animal Kingdom" last year kicked off a string of new gigs, including the male lead in the prequel/reboot/preboot of "The Thing," opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead, the co-lead opposite Jennifer Garner in "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," and starring across from Tom Hardy in MMA drama "Warrior," a film that's picked up major buzz from early screenings, with some even whispering that it could be an awards contender.

Recent weeks have seen him linked with films like "The Bourne Legacy" and "Snow White and the Huntsman," and landing the lead in Kathryn Bigelow's "Kill Bin Laden," while over the weekend, Edgerton and fellow rising star Luke Evans ("Tamara Drewe") were said to be competing for Tom Buchanan, the role that Ben Affleck recently vacated in Baz Luhrmann's 3D version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." And, as we predicted, Edgerton that landed it, Deadline reported this evening.

Luhrmann told the site, "In casting Tom one had to find an actor who could credibly be (as Fitzgerald describes him) 'one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven,' had five-star acting chops and in the big dramatic showdown scenes between Gatsby and Tom, hold the screen against Leonardo DiCaprio, in the appropriate age group. Any wonder, it has been a long and thorough journey. The simple truth is that Joel came into our rehearsal space in New York and fulfilled all of the above criteria, and then some."

For those who haven't read the book, Tom Buchanan is the wealthy, racist husband of Daisy Buchanan, the long time love of the novel's anti-hero Jay Gatsby. Edgerton joins DiCaprio as Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as the novel's narrator Nick Carraway, Carey Mulligan as Daisy, Isla Fisher as Buchanan's mistress, Myrtle Wilson, and Australian newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker, Nick's love interest.

There's one more major role to be cast: George Wilson, Myrtle's cuckolded husband, and we'd expect to see that filled fairly quickly, and likely with as impressive a name as those assembled already; we might not like the idea of Luhrmann's 3D take on 'Gatsby,' but you can't deny he's assembled a stellar cast. Filming begins in July in Australia, and we imagine we'll see this in theaters for the 2012 awards season.

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6 Comments

  • rodie | May 18, 2011 5:17 AMReply

    And who can forget Edgerton in his greatest role ever...young Uncle Owen in the Star Wars prequels!!!!!

  • Carmen | May 18, 2011 4:07 AMReply

    The whole idea about this movie is so over the top that could possibly end up with a very interesting piece, although Carey seems to me as a terrible Daisy.

  • Glass | May 18, 2011 3:01 AMReply

    YES. Love this.

    Leland Orser for George WIlson, por favor.

  • Lily | May 18, 2011 1:58 AMReply

    Sam Worthington is landing lots of roles and has done more films that have yet to come out like The Debt, etc.

    I am very happy Edgerton got the role. He is very handsome and is a great actor. I'm glad Affleck is out even though he isnt a horrible actor I just dont enjoy watching his films that much.

  • cirkusfolk | May 18, 2011 1:36 AMReply

    I hope Edgerton stays around awhile with this many projects and all. It was only a couple years ago Sam Worthington was poised to be the next big thing with Terminator, Avatar and Clash of the Titans, and now it seems he can't land a project that people will actually see.

  • W.J. | May 18, 2011 1:19 AMReply

    Edgarton is a far better fit for Tom than Affleck, so cheers to that switcheroo, but some of the cast still seems off in the "age appropriate" category. His perpetual baby-face status aside, Maguire (now 35) is too long in the tooth to be a convincing 20-something Nick Carraway. At 25, Carey Mulligan isn't too far off Daisy's age in the novel, but she just *feels* too young. Just last year she was playing a teenager and will probably continue playing teens for another five years.

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