Glitz & Glamour

03.12.13

‘The Great Gatsby,’ Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, to Open 66th Cannes Film Festival

Baz Luhrmann’s glitzy film adaptation of F. Scott Fiztgerald’s classic novel will bring DiCaprio, Jay-Z, and more to the Croisette. 

The Cote d'Azur is about to get even more glamorous.

The Great Gatsby, director Baz Luhrmann’s long-gestating film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s celebrated 1925 novel, will open the 66th Cannes Film Festival, organizers announced Tuesday morning.

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Warner Bros. Pictures

The movie will screen at the competition on May 15 at the glitzy Grand Théâtre Lumière of the Palais des Festivals as part of the Official Selection. It will, however, already be out in the U.S., where it will be released nationwide on May 10.

Set during the roaring ’20s, the film follows Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), a nouveau riche bootlegger who throws outrageously opulent weekly parties at his Long Island mansion. Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), his neighbor and pal, recounts the mysterious millionaire’s rise to prominence and dogged pursuit of Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), a married socialite. The film also stars Joel Edgerton (Zero Dark Thirty) as Daisy’s husband, Tom Buchanan; his ZDT co-star, Jason Clarke, as George B. Wilson; Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson; and Amitabh Bachchan as Meyer Wolfsheim. Rapper Jay-Z, who composed the movie’s score, will join the film’s A-list cast on the Croisette, according to festival organizers.

“It is a great honor for all those who have worked on The Great Gatsby to open the Cannes Film Festival,” Luhrmann said in a statement. “We are thrilled to return to a country, place and festival that has always been so close to our hearts, not only because my first film, Strictly Ballroom, was screened there 21 years ago, but also because F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote some of the most poignant and beautiful passages of his extraordinary novel just a short distance away at a villa outside St. Raphael.”

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This is only the second time in the festival’s history that the opening-night film will be screened in 3-D—the first was Pixar’s Up, which debuted at the fest in 2009. The Cannes Film Festival, which will run May 15–26, has had a solid string of opening-night films in recent years, with 2012’s Moonrise Kingdom and 2011’s Midnight in Paris. Steven Spielberg, meanwhile, will head the festival’s jury.

The Great Gatsby, distributed by Warner Bros., was supposed to be released on Christmas Day 2012, but was pushed back to a May 10 stateside release due to the packed holiday schedule. The film reunites DiCaprio with his Romeo & Juliet director Luhrmann, and also marks the first time life-long pals DiCaprio and Maguire have starred in a movie together since the 2001 straight-to-video disaster Don’s Plum. The last time Luhrmann brought a movie to Cannes was in 2001 as well, when Moulin Rouge! bowed opening night. The party following that premiere was a lavish, pricey affair that people still talk about in Hollywood circles, so expect plenty of fireworks.