This story first appeared in the May 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.In early 2011, Baz Luhrmann flew from Sydney to L.A., attempting to save The Great Gatsby from collapse.Seven years after he first had contemplated adapting F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel about obsessive love, the director’s passion project was in trouble. New York, where he had hoped to shoot, was proving too expensive for Sony, which wanted to limit his budget to $80 million, and now the studio insisted on finding partners to defray the cost. Without them, the movie was dead.So in January of that year, Luhrmann plunged into a Warner Bros. conference room, where he met such top-level executives as Jeff Robinov, Greg Silverman, Veronika Kwan Vandenberg and Kevin Tsujihara. For two hours, he bewitched them with a torrent of words explaining how he would mix old and new, blend hip-hop with sounds from the ’20s and use 3D to make the movie modern — all while showing clips he’d videotaped of Leonardo DiCaprio workshopping scenes. “I went into that room and thought, ‘In this moment, I’ve got to tell this story like I’ve never told it before,’ ” he recalls.Sitting with the 50-year-old Australian on a… Read full this story
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