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Watch: Heavily Stylized First Trailer For Baz Luhrmann's 'The Great Gatsby' With Leonardo DiCaprio & Carey Mulligan

by Oliver Lyttelton
May 22, 2012 7:41 PM
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When it was announced that Baz Luhrmann would be directing a film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," anyone who knew the Australian director's work sort of knew what to expect. They might not have guessed that he'd make the whole thing in 3D (which he has), but they knew you'd get something lavish, operatic and heavily styilized, with party scenes that finally lived up to some of Fitzgerald's descriptions.

But did what they imagined in their mind's eye look like this? We doubt it. The first trailer for Luhrmann's opus has just debuted over at Apple, and it looks pretty nutty. You can tell already the extent that Luhrmann's shot for 3D, and you can tell that this is clearly not going to be set in anything like the real world: it's reminiscent of "Sucker Punch" more than anything else. Visuals aside, Leonardo DiCaprio looks like he's got the role he was born to play, and we like what we see of both Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton, but we're not yet sold on Tobey Maguire, who seems bland, even for a reasonably bland character. The film also stars Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan (whose cameo figures more than most of the other cast members) and newcomers Elizabeth Debicki (she's the one in the Louise Brooks wig who looks like Cate Blanchett & Mia Wasikowska had a baby) and Callan MacAuliffe.

So we're intrigued, certainly, but far from convinced. What do you think? Has Luhrmann finally gone too far? Or is this a vital, fresh spin on an old classic that's still yet to have its definitive screen version? Watch the trailer below (along with the first one-sheet from the film), or in HD over at Apple, and let us know. The music, by the way, starts with Jay-Z & Kanye West's "No Church In The Wild" off the "Watch The Throne" album, before segueing into Jack White's "Love is Blindness."

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  • Opal | June 3, 2012 11:12 AMReply

    Baz shouldn't go so far. Over the top at best when it could have been far more subtle. And the amount of money spent in it was crazy, over budget, overtime and over produced. Lay off the cocaine Baz..

  • Kanerwa | May 29, 2012 9:21 AMReply

    At 0:56 he's acting like Robert Pattinson in Eclipse.

  • Omnopea | May 27, 2012 12:50 AMReply

    Wait, the beginning part is not taken from The Great Gatsby.... those are (altered) lines from My Lost City. I don't mind it though... that short story is what convinced me to study Fitzgerald in college. I recommend reading through The Crack Up. Also, this movie looks fantastic and I think Lurhmann's touch will be perfect... you can't hate a guy for having a distinctive, flamboyant way about him... and he's so much better than 90% of the filmmakers working today. I for one welcome this sort of adaptation!

  • Vic | May 25, 2012 9:02 PMReply

    This film looks idiotic -- there is nobody more overrated than Baz Luhrmann. This book was made to be turned into a great film and any idiotic could probably make it so, but Baz Lurhmann has still managaed to come up short. How do you direct such a piece of stinking fi;th with this cast and with this author as inspiration -- oh, I know, introduce your own overblown ego and smug perspective to the party and let the cameras roll -- any true fan of this novel should be outraged at this garbage.

  • Kindred Spirit | May 27, 2012 12:46 AM

    Someone is pissed they didn't land a role... rejection can be so hurtful!

  • Opie | May 25, 2012 5:27 PMReply

    Love Leonardo, LOVE Carey - but this looks like it's going to be an overproduced piece of crap. I'll hold my complete judgement until it comes out but.......based on the Trailer - I'm not hopeful

  • Connor | May 25, 2012 11:37 AMReply

    Got to admit that this looks like something is holding it back. Maybe Baz wasn't the right director to do the project. But something just doesn't fit right to me. maybe it was the music or not the right tone.

  • ICDIR | May 25, 2012 11:15 AMReply

    not a big fan of modern day music in period set movies. completely takes me out of the vibe and I cant get sucked into the story. Imagine how much different the "Artist" would have turned out if Skrillex did the soundtrack. *just threw up in my mouth a litttle

  • Carly | May 24, 2012 11:26 AMReply

    I actually think this looks great. I feel like Fitzgerald was always trying to show the excess of that era and Baz is certainly the one who can display that excessiveness. I know some have their doubts about Tobey being Nick, but Nick's character was, I feel, just a vessel used to tell the story. Besides Maguire does a great bland man, allowing his fellow actors to shine (see Cider House Rules and, well, anything else he's ever been in.) I also think the music choices for the trailer are stylish and fun, and as Isla Fisher mentioned in an interview, Baz loves Jay-Z and would blast the music during filming. Overall, I'm very excited.

  • Steve | May 23, 2012 3:48 PMReply

    Gatsby is not about the spectacle. Hollywood doesn't bother to read the books it adapts. I don't think they even read the box for Battleship. Baz makes eye candy for morons.

  • BRIAN | May 24, 2012 12:12 PM

    Oogle, that's a glossed-over, moronic read on Gatsby. It is not about spectacle, and neither were the twenties. Yes, there was an element of pop culture that was glamorous and indulgent -- in fact, the novel is about the meaningless emptiness of that indulgence. Baz, like many less perceptive (to put it nicely) readers, just think it seems fun, hence willfully participating in the indulgence.

  • oogle monster | May 23, 2012 5:09 PM

    Gatsby's life IS a spectacle. Pretty sure you didn't read the book, moron. Yes there are certainly subtle and nuanced parts of the novel but to say that there is no spectacle is to dismiss the entire decade that was the 1920s.

  • Lucy | May 23, 2012 12:49 PMReply

    The music is a huge turn-off. But it doesn't look bad.

  • brian | May 23, 2012 12:26 PMReply

    and this insinuation that all "great" novels need definitive versions is so problematic

  • brian | May 23, 2012 12:25 PMReply

    Luhrmann's emptily indulgent spectacularization of this novel is nothing more than a pile of sparkling garbage

  • McRaj | May 23, 2012 5:56 AMReply

    This a vital, fresh spin on an old classic that's still yet to have its definitive screen version

  • Dr. T. J. Eckleburg | May 23, 2012 4:23 AMReply

    Baz Luhrmann must die!

  • Wahh | May 23, 2012 12:21 AMReply

    So Ready! And, though I'm not really attracted to him, Leo is looking pretty good

  • conan | May 23, 2012 12:10 AMReply

    Baz Luhrmann directs with a sledgehammer. This guy has no subtlety, if it hit him on the head. A movie adaptation of " The Great Gatsby " has to have a " less is more " directing style . This film looks atrocious.

  • Batze | May 23, 2012 6:01 AM

    Although I like some of Luhrmann's films, I have to say that I agree with every words of this comment.

  • StephenM | May 22, 2012 11:10 PMReply

    What on earth did I just watch??? So I mean I know he did Moulin Rouge and loves anachronistic music and stuff, but Holy Crap, this is the defining novel of the Jazz Age and he's scoring it with Jay-Z? WTF? And I'm going to assume when Carey Mulligan says Gatsby is "always so cool" she means cool as in calm and of a fairly low temperature, not cool in the modern sense, because the anachronism there would be too awful to contemplate. You just know they put it in the trailer because it sounds "cool," though, and you can bet most audiences will take it in the modern sense.

  • Anon | May 24, 2012 8:17 AM

    Ms Walsh - The link you provided gives the word cool from 1933. Seeing as this is set in the '20s, it's still an anachronism...

  • Glass | May 23, 2012 8:30 PM

    I think people shouldn't type dumb shit like "How can they put KANYE WEST and JAY-Z in this???". You don't hear either of them at all here. If anything, it's more accurate to say they used Frank Ocean (the person you actually hear), or just a remixed version of Phil Manzanera's "K-Scope", which is the sample used in the song. It doesn't satisfy your hatred of rap or using anachronistic music/vibes in a period movie, but at least it's more accurate...

  • Fred | May 23, 2012 2:30 AM

    Superb counter, Ms. Walsh. Stephen M, if you know he loves anachronistic stuff, then why would the use of a single word be too awful to contemplate? I guess all is fair game in the filibusters of detraction that this ambitious and divisive project will obviously spur for the next seven months.

  • Katie Walsh | May 23, 2012 12:49 AM

    "Cool" has been around for a lot longer than you think.

  • just | May 22, 2012 11:26 PM

    To be fair, the *trailer* is scored with Jay-Z, not necessarily the movie.

  • Sergio | May 22, 2012 10:17 PMReply

    Looks AWFUL. I'll stick with the 70's Redford version written by Coppola

  • Alan | May 23, 2012 9:15 AM

    I'll stick with the book. That film was bland and mediocre, and criminally miscasts Bruce Dern.

  • I'm Sold | May 22, 2012 10:01 PMReply

    Looks a hell of a lot more better & interesting than any of the other half dozen or so Gatsby adaptations. Plus, it looks like a film that is actually going to embrace 3D!

    I'm there.

  • jingmei | May 22, 2012 9:39 PMReply

    Thickly commercially visualized, not qutie suitable for gang of talented actors.

  • Helgi | May 22, 2012 9:30 PMReply

    Luhrman should make commercials. Every breath you take is the last. Editing your ether. Is there a story? Really? Paul Greengrass and Baz Luhrman: the two most overrated film directors in the world.

  • Glass | May 22, 2012 10:35 PM

    lol both of them are in my top five for sure.

  • jingmei | May 22, 2012 9:38 PM

    Fairly enough.

  • Qu4termsn42 | May 22, 2012 9:27 PMReply

    Needs more Isla Fisher

  • Glass | May 22, 2012 9:06 PMReply

    ffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu I can't wait. Baz is kind of a litmus test for me - if you can't see the value in his movies for what they're worth, then I don't mess with yall (to paraphrase Krispy Kreme).

  • hank | May 22, 2012 8:55 PMReply

    anyone else go, ewwwwwww?

  • Kindred Spirit | May 22, 2012 8:36 PMReply

    Looks like an Oscar winner to me! Also, Leo is looking beautiful... no homo.

  • helens | May 22, 2012 8:26 PMReply

    "The role he was born to play"? He's nothing like the Gatsby I pictured when reading the book.

  • keke | May 22, 2012 8:19 PMReply

    Trying hard not to laugh tbh. Looks to be in the same vein as Dark Shadows.

  • Charles Hood | May 22, 2012 8:13 PMReply

    Don't call it Jack White's "Love Is Blindness." He didn't write the song!!!! It's a U2 cover.

  • Charles Food | May 23, 2012 12:32 AM

    Well, he'd look pretty stupid if he'd written that is was U2's Love Is Blindness. Use some common sense.

  • Cal | May 22, 2012 8:23 PM

    Correct. Jack does do it even better, though.

  • Kate | May 22, 2012 8:06 PMReply

    This looks like style will overshadow everything else.

  • Ancient Pistol | May 23, 2012 12:05 AM

    Jack does it well, but U2's is transcendent. Even Edge's guitar is better than Jack's. Listen to both back to back. You won't disagree.


    "Serious cinephiles" hate Lurhmann... it's annoying. I think the trailer looks fantastic and everyone seems on point, even Tobey M. It's interesting that Lurhmann shows Gatsby and Daisy having sex when Fitzgerald never actually gets into the details rather implies it. Anyway, I think this film will do well... box office and awards season wise only because it's my most anticipated film of 2012 right after TDKR. Keep doing your thing Baz.

  • sam | May 22, 2012 8:32 PM

    "'Serious cinephiles' hate Lurhmann..." Not quite true, he has some serious defenders. I just happen to think his movies are generally loud, over-the-top, headache-inducing, and that he seems totally incapable of subtlety.

  • Dan | May 22, 2012 8:00 PMReply

    Looks like a Baz Luhrmann film

  • Frank | May 22, 2012 7:57 PMReply

    This kinda looks horrible. And I like Luhrmann.

  • jimmiescoffee | May 22, 2012 7:54 PMReply

    oh, that music at start....the horror....the horror

  • A Man of Taste | May 23, 2012 12:28 AM

    Yep, Game Over. Worst song ever right there.

  • Collin | May 22, 2012 7:53 PMReply

    "Tobey Maguire, who sems bland, even for a reasonably bland character."

    Right...because you can totally tell that from about a eight seconds of screen time.

  • Alan | May 23, 2012 9:17 AM

    Bland isn't the term I'd use: more like high-strung and totally devoid of emotional weight.

  • Oogle monster | May 22, 2012 7:52 PMReply

    I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS ALL YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The poster is awful, the trailer is EPIC!

  • ff | May 22, 2012 7:50 PMReply

    Well, looks like a Baz Luhrmann movie alright... I expect Edgerton will be the standout. DiCaprio and Mulligan seem their usual selves. I'm really not sure Tobey Maguire should be narrating this.

  • Lola | May 22, 2012 7:49 PMReply

    Awful! Awful! Awful! I had high hopes for this.

  • Katie Walsh | May 22, 2012 7:49 PMReply

    This looks over the top, insane and FUCKING INCREDIBLE.

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