By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com January 10, 2011 at 2:14AM
To some degree, it's no longer really a story when a big-name director decides to shoot a high-profile picture in 3D -- for the moment, at least, the format's becoming something of a standard for tentpoles, actioners and kids flicks, and it's arguably more significant when someone like Christopher Nolan kicks against the trend. Otherwise, everyone from Martin Scorsese to the guy who directed "Legion" are putting out films in three dimensions, and generally speaking, it's worth no more than a brief mention in a round up of other news. Generally.
However, this weekend brought a tidbit of 3D-related news that raised some eyebrows. Following a Blu-Ray-plugging panel in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, alongside Oliver Stone and Michael Mann, director Baz Luhrmann told The Hollywood Reporter that "The Great Gatsby," which now seems certain to be the director's next film, has been workshopped in 3D, and that the director was still considering whether to shoot the film in the format.
Considering Luhrmann has always been a bells-and-whistles kind of helmer, it's not the fact that he's considering 3D that's the surprise, but the choice of film with which he might do it -- while we're sure the Australian director of "Moulin Rouge" won't deliver your father's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, the serious, dramatic source material is far from the thrill-rides that have so far dominated 3D screens.
But the Archbishop Of Wearing Silly Glasses, James Cameron, has always maintained that a time will come when films of all stripes will be dimensionalized, and Luhrmann's clearly not alone -- Bleeding Cool dug up video of the same panel in which Michael Mann seems to suggest that he's leaning towards the format, telling the audience that "...just a pure dialogue drama I would shoot in 3D," suggesting that whichever of his films comes next, be it "Capa," "Big Tuna" or "Agincourt," will be shot, or at least considered, for 3D.
We remain somewhat agnostic about 3D: when used in truly creative ways, as in "Coraline" or "How To Train Your Dragon," we can certainly see the benefits, but for the most part the grammar of three-dimensional filmmaking is still developing, and to be honest, we're not sure that the technology has developed to the degree that its advocates maintain. We can't quite see the advantages of a 3D 'Gatsby,' and suspect that Luhrmann will end up making the 3D leap on another, later film, but stranger things have certainly happened. Luhrmann hasn't yet publicly committed to making the project -- which will star Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan -- his next film, but it's widely expected that lensing will begin sometime this year.