Australian visual sensualist and sybarite Baz Luhrmann is a perfectionist. We know this because he generally takes around five years between movies and toiled on an "Alexander The Great" biopic for so excessively that Oliver Stone and a blonde-eyebrow dyed Colin Farrell beat him to the punch in 2004 and the project withered on the vine. He's also only made four films in sixteen years which is basically the same pace as molasses.
Now he basically has Leonardo DiCaprio (who would have starred in the aforementioned 'Alexander' film), Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire on stand-by and at the ready to appear in his semi-long gestating adaptation of F. Scott Fizgerald's "The Great Gatsby". What does the filmmaker do next? Well, when asked recently if he's directing 'Gatsby' next, he hems and haws and said he's not quite sure if he's going to make it just yet, intimating that maybe the project hasn't been in the incubation stage for long enough.
"I gotta make a decision in three days' time, whether to do it or not,” Luhrmann told Vulture this week. The director actually even own the rights -- which is kind of unheard of -- and has been “been workshopping with Leonardo [DiCaprio] and Tobey [Maguire] and all those great guys.” So what's the hold up?? “I think I've been a bit shaded out because I want everything to be perfectly positioned on it,” he explained, before promising, “There will be news by the end of the week.”
So a decision by end of week? Baz, seriously, this writer will forgive you for the overblown, but still luxuriant and enjoyable epic "Australia," but it's time to man up and do this. Let's face it, the Jack Clayton-helmed 1974 version of the film with Robert Redford, Mia Farrow and Bruce Dern is not a classic and could be improved on and if you're an Aussie worried about taking on a seminal piece of American literature, well... if vociferous fanboys can get over British actors playing American-made superheroes, so too can quieter Long Island-bred blue-bloods.
Lurhmann has been hinting at another project in the works that he's described simply as a "New York musical" that he could choose from instead, but unless that concept has names like Mulligan and DiCaprio attached, he might want to reconsider. Plus, wasn't "Moulin Rouge" enough for now? Truthfully, we'll simply be happy with another Baz Luhrmann film, but the promise of DiCaprio and Mulligan together in a distinguished piece of classic fiction is hard to pass up.
Don't get your hopes up too high. Back in October Luhrmann said he was going to make a decision between the two projects in "four to six weeks" and that was almost four months ago.