"The Great Gatsby" is often referred to as the Great American Novel. Set in the high-society world of post-WWI Long Island, the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic has a built-in audience ready to scrutinize and nitpick any filmmaker who attempts to adapt the author's magnum opus. Which is why, when director Baz Luhrmann revealed his big-screen version of "Gatsby" would be shot in 3D, Fitzgerald purists were understandably up in arms.

However, in Tuesday's New York Times, the director presents his case for why a three-dimensional big-screen Nick Carraway makes perfect sense.

"Everyone has strong, and generally opposing, opinions, when you mention 3D, or 'The Great Gatsby,' or Baz Luhrmann," the director admitted, while -- as the Times states -- "insisting" Fitzgerald would have approved: "He was a modernist. He was very influenced by the cinema."

Luhrmann, who says the idea of shooting "Gatsby" came to him while drinking red wine and listening to an audio version of the novel on a train ten years ago, is correct about Fitzgerald being a modernist. However, the driving force that inspired Luhrmann to shoot the movie in 3D may not please "Gatsby" lovers.

As the Times notes, "It was a lecture by [James] Cameron, then working on 'Avatar,' that persuaded Mr. Luhrmann 3D might help him find what had been missing in 'Gatsby.'"

But, before the Fitzgerald fanatics get carried away, Luhrmann also used a non-Na'avi feature as a source for inspiration as well.

"To examine the potential of actors in 3-D without the gimmickry of contemporary action sequences, Mr. Luhrmann turned to Alfred Hitchcock's 3-D version of 'Dial M for Murder,' from 1954."

So, if you're keeping score: Red wine + "Avatar" + "Dial M for Murder" in 3D = Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby."

You can read more about the adaptation over on the Times.

"The Great Gatsby," starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton and Carey Mulligan, hits theaters Christmas Day.

[via NYT]
CATEGORIES Movies